One of the most baffling experiences in life is when you’ve sincerely endeavored to follow God’s will, only to find that His provision seems to be drying up. Yet this is something experienced by just about everyone at one point or another.
Even the prophet Elijah faced this. The Lord had given him explicit instructions to go to the Brook Cherith, “And it will be that you shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there” (1 Kings 17:2-7).
There’s an old maxim that says, “Where God guides, He provides,” and this was Elijah’s experience for many days as he sat by the brook. Plenty of clean, cool water to drink, and the ravens brought him bread and meat twice a day. It was a pretty nice life, carefree in every way.
But when God wants to bring us to an important transition point, He often allows our “brook” to dry up. This is bewildering, because we’re certain the Lord has used the brook to provide for us in the past. We’ve been following His will, and it’s hard to imagine our carefree life ever coming to an end.
However, through no fault of Elijah, his circumstances began to change: “It happened after a while that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land” (v. 7).
Ironically, the brook dried up as the direct result of Elijah’s obedience in telling King Ahab there would be no rain “except at my word” (v. 1). Without rain, it was only a matter of time before the brook would run out of water—but all of this was part of God’s plan.
Perhaps you can relate to Elijah’s experience. Maybe the job that provided income for you and your family for many years is drying up. Or the thriving church that once nurtured your faith is now a lifeless pile of dry bones. Or perhaps you find yourself in a marriage that has grown cold and dry, with no solution in sight.
So, what can you do when your brook dries up? How should you react when some life-giving stream of God’s blessing is no longer bringing you the provision and nourishment you need?
Here are some thoughts…
- Thank God for how He used the brook in past seasons of your life. Instead of cursing the dry creek bed, be grateful for the sustenance it once brought you.
- Be grateful that a new season—with fresh provision—is right around the corner. When your brook starts to dry up, you should get excited instead of depressed! Since the Lord has promised to be your provider in every season, you can look at the future with great anticipation.
- Let go of any false nostalgia about the “good old days” when the brook was full of water. Yes, God used the brook to bless you in the past, but now you can trust Him for even BETTER things in your future. Don’t let past blessings become an idol that hinders you from embracing the next season of your life.
- Listen for a new set of instructions. Elijah knew God had told him to go to the Brook Cherith—and Elijah had obeyed. But now it was time for some new instructions, which God was faithful to provide: “Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, ‘Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you’” (vs. 8-9). If you want a fresh start, you will need to listen for fresh directions from the Lord. The new instructions may cause you even greater bewilderment, and I’m sure Elijah wondered how some widow he’d never met was going to provide for him. Are you willing to trust God anyway?
Here’s a brief prophetic thought on this important message: The world is entering a season when many of the “brooks” we’ve been relying upon are going to dry up. It has never been more crucial to trust God and obey His instructions. If we do, the new season can be far better than the previous one. If we don’t, we could find ourselves sitting next to a dry creek bed, wondering what happened to the water and the ravens.
Great revelation on how to trust God through the ever changing seasons of our lives. The only constant we can rely on is our faith in the One that is orchestrating these events for our good and His glory.
I am at a Season in my life right now, as I was seeking for anything that would help me to understand what has happened, or is happening in my life right now concerning the Ministry that God has birthed within me. And all of a sudden tonight, I heard a voice say “What do you do when the Brook dries up?” Then I began to google that very statement and tapped into this website…Oh my God! It is just what I needed. A New Insight and Revelation of what is happening, or about to happen Spiritually in my life. As I have been getting depressed, frustrated & feeling that perhap’s I did something wrong.. A lot of questioning and soul searching, but really feeling down about the Ministry. Till I read this article. Thank You so much.. OH MY GOD!
So good to hear from you, Rhonda! It was a blessing to hear that my article was an encouragement to you. This week I’m speaking at a leadership seminar in Virginia, and one of my themes will be “Navigating the Seasons of Life.” I hope the attendees will be encouraged by my message, as you were. Sometime you may want to visit my other website, http://www.DiscipleshipDepot.com, to see some of my resources on life and leadership. Blessings to you!