I was just thinking today of a documentary I watched years ago when I was home sick, lying on the couch. It wasn't my usual TV fare, but it was on and I couldn't find the energy or motivation to turn the channel. And today, I remembered...
It was about animals in desert country. I believe it was somewhere in Africa. The man's voice was quiet and serious as he spoke over the images of animals before the drought. The speaker knew that the rainy season was over, and the animals were preparing as best they could for going without...trying to survive until the next change of season.
As the documentary continued, the land became more and more dry, cracked, dusty. At first, the animals were active, trying to find water in out of the way places. They were fairly successful...for a time. They began to dig for water and to drink from plants. Then the animals were slower...they were walking around a bit aimlessly, wondering...if there was any other place to look. The speaker explained that this happened every year...until the waters came.
Eventually, the animals were completely still, laying on the land, in the dust. Things were so dire...were they even still alive? It was hard to tell.
I wish I could find video of what happened next. In this area, it wasn't rain that came. It was a flood coming down from a higher area. A flood, rushing. Deep water, rolling with force and sound. I will never forget how the animals ears perked. But wait, the speaker said the floods would come, but I didn't hear anything yet. How did the animals know? Did they hear the vibration of moving water in their dry bodies as they lay in the dust? Ears raised, eyes began to blink!
Ironically, they would have to move or be drown by the flood of water coming! But then, oh then... They drank, played in the water, chased each other. Could they actually be frolicking--the animals that just moments before appeared dead in the dust?
Listen with me to the tale (The Voice Translation)
1 Kings 18
The Voice (VOICE)
Elijah (to Ahab): 41 You should go fill your belly with food and water. I hear a heavy rain coming.
42 Ahab did as Elijah instructed and went to eat and drink. Elijah journeyed to the peak of Mount Carmel. There he bowed down on the ground and placed his head between his knees.
Elijah (to his servant): 43 Go now, and look in the direction of the sea.
Servant (returning to Elijah): I did as you asked, and there is nothing in the direction of the sea.
Elijah gave him the same instruction seven times, “Go back,and look in the direction of the sea.” 44 The servant did as Elijah requested each time; and on the seventh time, he told Elijah, “A minuscule cloud, as tiny as the hand of a man, is ascending from the sea.”
Elijah: Go quickly, and give a message to Ahab for me: “Prepare your chariot, and leave quickly before the rain gets torrential and keeps you from traveling.”
45 The sky became filled with dark monstrous clouds, the wind grew wild, the heavy rain fell, and Ahab traveled quickly in his chariot to Jezreel. 46 The strength of the Eternal filled Elijah. The prophet pulled up his garment around his thighs and sprinted ahead of Ahab the entire way to Jezreel.