Digging the ditches

"... and he said, This is what the LORD says: Dig this valley full of ditches." 2 Kings 3.16

Of significance to the impact of the Lewis Revival of 1949-52 was the ability of Duncan Campbell to communicate with the people in their "heart language" of Scottish Gaelic. Lewis in the 1950s was very different to Lewis in the 2020s. Back in the day, Gaelic was the first language of the majority of the population - in the workplace, at home, in the playground, at church... If the Gospel was to appear relevant to people's lives it needed to find expression in the language in which people communicated, thought and dreamed.

Desperate to see revival where they live, some believers sift through accounts of earlier revivals in other places and wonder how they can replicate the circumstances so that God will move similarly where they are. But this is fruitless and inappropriate. In speaking into people's hearts personally while overshadowing their whole community completely, God's intervention is specific to each situation. And his sovereignty means that we can no more force his hand as artificially manufacture the conditions. But we can pray and we can prepare.

Prayer and preparation work together in that they orient us towards God and fuel our expectancy of his arrival. How shall we cultivate a culture of prayerful anticipation? How can we lay the foundations for whenever and however God may act in our own time and place? Let's start with ourselves...