The announcement from the cockpit this morning advising passengers on a BA flight to Zürich that the snow was causing chaos at Heathrow prompted considerable mirth among those seated in a very full aeroplane wondering why said aeroplane was not moving. Some may have wondered if there might have been a couple of flakes in the cockpit given the rather insignificant nature of the snow outside the aircraft. So, we waited a little longer for de-icing rigs to arrive and eventually our aircraft managed to make it from the earth to the sky. A couple of hours later we arrived safely in a bitterly cold Zürich. We have to assume that our pilots were not a couple of flakes after all.
Which brings me back to the revival that took place in the Hebrides between 1949 and 1952. I wonder how many of the locals thought that the two elderly sisters who prayed on their faces into the early hours several nights a week were a couple of flakes? Fortunately, the local minister did not view the ladies as past their mental prime, and he responded to a vision that one of them received in prayer by gathering a few others in the parish to pray. They prayed in a barn – again overnight. The local community probably considered that there were more than a couple of flakes in the village. But one night after weeks of prayer it wasn’t snow that fell but the Holy Spirit. And so began a period of three years in which whole communities were transformed.
The revival in the Hebrides began because caution was thrown to the wind and a few people began to pray for hours on end. Why? Because of a burden for the young in particular to know God. Here we are in 2018 and having read about the Hebrides in 1949 I don’t need to ask why we are not experiencing revival. Do we really carry a burden for the lost around us – our families, our neighbours, our colleagues, the people that live close to our churches and walk past us while we worship on a Sunday morning? Because if we do carry such a burden then we have to consider whether that burden is heavy enough to change how we pray. Or are we happy to be more like the snow at Heathrow this morning – a couple of flakes that came to nothing?
Oh, that You would rend the heavens! That You would come down! That the mountains might shake at Your presence. (Isaiah 64:1 NKJV)