We've just had one of the wettest years on record. But in northern India it is extremely dry and hot for most of the year.
The land is parched and barren, until the monsoons come up from the south. When the monsoons come, and soak the land, it's like someone flicks a switch. The earth explodes into bloom. In a matter of days, northern India is alive with exotic leaves and flowers.
The transforming power of God's word is no less dramatic in the heart of a person who will receive it. It may not happen overnight, but the effect is nonetheless guaranteed. God's ancient prophet Isaiah puts it like this:
"As the rain and snow come down from heaven and do not return to it without watering the earth, making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. All this shall win the LORD a great name." Isaiah 55v10-13.
God's Word changes God's people this dramatically. It changes the hearts it touches, producing beauty and fruitfulness in people's lives.
I don't know what 2013 is looking like for you. At this time of year, we're usually ready to give up on the resolutions we made in January to live a better life than last year. But our attempts to solve our problems this way seldom work for long!
But here is a failsafe way to see our lives transformed for the better this year and the next and the next. To immerse ourselves in the powerful word of God. Anyone can do this by reading the Bible for themselves each day, or hearing it read to them on CD or online. Anyone can do this by coming to hear the Bible taught at midweek groups or on a Sunday.
You just need to be showered by the monsoon of God's word and have a heart and mind that is willing to listen and accept what he has to say. Try it and see.
Pastor of St Georges