On a blistering hot day last summer, I was drawn to the sun room although I knew it would be 10 degrees warmer still. The dog curled up on my lap, insistent he wanted our burning and dehydration to be a shared experience.
In the haze of the heat I heard a sweet sound: distant thunder began breaking the fever of extended summer. Rain came soon. The wind blew it in and pushed away the sun.
Rain, which I often find inconvenient, was fresh relief for the simple reason that we needed it.
Rain, Rain Go Away…Come Again Another Day!
Most of the time, rain makes us want to stay inside. It’s met with moans about mud and mess and cancelled plans. In the Bible, there were certainly times rain wasn’t wanted by most people- during the great flood, for instance!
But often, God’s Word pictures rain as refreshment. It’s what ends droughts, brings new life, and breaks up the seasons. Rain is something people pray for.
When It Rains, It Pours
I imagine Elijah thought the sound of thunder and the sight of rainclouds was refreshing, too. He knew what it was to need rain.
- Once, Elijah prayed that God would not send rain for a few years, and God didn’t. A great drought took place, and evil rulers took revenge on Elijah by killing many prophets. For all the sunny days and heat, what everyone wanted during that time was rain (1 Kings 17).
- Then, after years of drought, Elijah prayed for rain. When God answered, His might was demonstrated powerfully (1 Kings 18).
- After that, Elijah’s life was threatened again. He was worn out and fled. But that’s when God met Him, cared for Him, and encouraged Him. (1 Kings 19).
Do you know the famous passage of God passing by Elijah? He came not in the storm, the earthquake, or the fire, but in a gentle whisper.
This is what rain makes me think of when we need it…God’s whisper. Answers to prayer one drop at a time, absorbed into the ground to give life to grace worth waiting for. Not what we want, but what we need.
April Showers Bring May….
If rain’s revitalization of earth were a metaphor for the way faithful living works, I think it would be summarized by Romans 5:3-5.
“…We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
Sometimes suffering is a chaotic storm. Other times, it’s a long, unrelenting drought. As we live through suffering, what we look, wait, HOPE, and pray for is rain. Refreshment. Refilling. Restoration. The pouring out of God’s love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.
We want to be showered with grace. We want the pain to wash away. We want to soak in mercy. We want to be made ready for new life to bloom again.
It isn’t always pretty, but literal and figurative rain make a way for seasons to change.It isn’t always pretty, but literal and figurative rain make a way for seasons to change. Click To Tweet
So sometimes…we need rain.
When was the last time you watched the rain come down with praise?
This worship mix by Caleb and Kelsey is good rainy-day listening!
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