I woke up one morning, and the first thing I heard was rain falling on our skylights. Not a gentle rain either, but a steady downpour. That meant extra traffic going to work, more accidents from people driving too fast on wet roads, and most likely, the dreaded “Bad Hair Day”! Not to mention the weather forecast calling for rain all day, which meant since Daylight Savings Time has ended and the days are much shorter, I’d be driving home from the office, not only in rain, but in the dark!
Maybe I should pull the covers back over my head and stay home instead of facing this dreary day ahead of me?
How many times have we all felt like doing that?
Then I was quickly but gently reminded by a soft voice that can only come from above, that rain is one of God’s special gifts to us. It’s not something to dread; or something to be upset over. Certainly, there are days when we really, really don’t want rain to mess up our plans for a summer picnic, a day at the beach or theme park, or even more important, someone’s wedding day! But those reasons are for our own personal interests. We don’t stop to think that somewhere a rain shower is vitally needed, and an answer to someone else’s prayer.
Job 5:10 “He gives rain for the earth and water for the fields.” (NLT)
The Lord sends rain when the land is dry and needs to be nourished. Without it, our crops wouldn’t grow, and we wouldn’t have food to eat at that picnic or on the beach; the flowers wouldn’t bloom and their colorful beauty wouldn’t be available to adorn the bride and her bridesmaids; trees would wither and die, and we wouldn’t be able to enjoy their leafy shade in between rides at the theme park. The rain also replenishes our streams and wells, which in turn provide the water necessary for us all to live.
We are so accustomed to our own surroundings being filled to abundance with green grass and flowers and bushes and trees, we don’t stop to think about other places that are not so fortunate. Look at the desert; dry and barren, and a harsh place to try and live. Rain doesn’t come very often. An occasional flowering cactus can be spotted in the sand every so often, a plant designed by God to live in the arid land only by storing water in its fleshy tissues to be used as nourishment in between the rains. But even cactus cannot survive forever without water. When we complain about a bit of rain ruining our day, there are many more people waiting and praying for the blessing of a cool rain shower.
It’s the same way with the word of the Lord. Life often gets too much for us; the stress of daily living overwhelms us to the point of exhaustion, and circumstances threaten to consume us and steal our joy. That’s when our souls, our very lives, become dry and in need of nourishment. We need His words to come forth like rain to bless us, revive us, replenish our spirit, and give us hope and encouragement when we need it most.
“Rain and snow fall from the sky and don’t return without watering the ground. They cause the plants to sprout and grow, making seeds for the farmer and bread for the people. The same thing is true of the words I speak. They will not return to me empty. They make the things happen that I want to happen, and they succeed in doing what I send them to do.” Isaiah 55:10-11 (NCV)
Seeds will only sprout in the earth when they are watered; without water the seeds remain dormant, and will eventually die without that life-giving rain. Similarly, the seeds of hope and comfort, joy and forgiveness, which have been planted inside each of us, can only burst forth and thrive when watered with God’s word.
As a writer, the thoughts within me also need watering to come forth as words and sentences, to help them burst into life on paper or the computer screen in order to encourage others. Sometimes it takes a small rain shower, and sometimes it takes a storm to bring forth the ideas that are buried within.
“For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it…, receives blessing from God.” Hebrews 6:7 (NKJV)
The next time your day starts with rain, think of it as a blessing from the Lord…a gift He has decided to give on that particular day. And remember that a rainbow, the symbol of hope and promise, usually follows that rain.