Let It Rain

Let It Rain

God makes rain and rain... causes Floods, destruction and devastation… but after the rain…if you’re lucky you will witness one of God’s most redemptive promises…a rainbow. 

So I’ll take you back… I was out of pre-written Blog posts. I truly try to be organized and not procrastinate… I mean it’s not like I have an Agatha Trunchbull-esque teacher with a due date or some fancy editor tapping their pen waiting for my writing [a quick nod to my baby sisters favorite movie Matilda] … it’s much more of a personal goal to write these blogs each week… so there I was- out of posts. I had about 6 half written posts and at least 12 different ideas written, but I just felt stuck. I was sitting and thinking about what I could write about and God literally dropped this in my lap… Ok, maybe figuratively…But the book was on my lap…. so… it counts. Let me set the scene for you… lights- camera…Just kidding! It was 5:40 AM, I originally set my alarm for 5:00 AM but a horrible night sleep and stiff joints had me laying around for far too long.  I finally decided to wash my face and head downstairs to make some coffee. I don’t know about you, but I’m like a very creaky little engine that could in the mornings and I definitely can’t without my coffee. I’ve been sleeping in, so this is the first morning in a few weeks that I was up before my husband, which is so rare- so I grabbed my coffee and my blanket and went to get my Bible and journals. I decided that I felt like reading my Lisa Harper devotional. The day’s devotion was so cute! The overarching lesson came into view when she said “instead of focusing on the inevitable rain in life, I want to focus on the inevitable sunshine”.  Lisa Harper went on to tell us that “no matter how hard it’s raining in our lives now it’s really only a thimble full of liquid in the vast ocean of God’s sovereignty”. That’s good, I thought, almost disappointed. Almost like... yeah, I get that! Preach it sister! With the dullest lack luster excitement. But I do get it, pain in the purpose, yada yada...as if I was hoping for something a little more sparkling or full of magic… or just a new revelation because I was out my pre-written blog posts.

So I switched gears and jumped into my Bible where I’ve been reading from Isaiah; this has been far one of the hardest books to read, and I’ve read all the laws from Genesis to Deuteronomy, and all the history from Joshua to Ester;  but for some reason this Prophet has me completely stumped and constantly turning to my commentary after every other word. So I picked up where I left off then looked up and decided that complaining to my husband was a much better use of my time. He was now munching on some Cheerios next to me on the couch, “this book is just so confusing and long”, I whined… He shrugged and said, “read the commentary” …thanks- not helpful….but after this interaction, where it was clear that I needed more coffee, it hit me “he will also send you rain for the seed you sow in the ground in the food that comes from the land you’ll be rich and plentiful in that day your cattle graze in the Broad meadows” Isaiah 30:23. Do you see it?! Did you have the verbal aha moment like I did?!...because I did! I literally said “a-ha”, my husband stopped chewing, looked at me and then turned back to his bowl. I always think about the purpose in the pain- how you can grow at the end, but I never really thought about the pain or the rain as a tool or a main ingredient that helps you grow along the way. Because plants don’t just go from seeds to fully grown after it rains… It takes rain and sun and sun and rain… and lots of patience and daily growth to see true change. 

You see my husband and I had a small organic vegetable farm in Ohio and during that time we relied on the rain just as much as the sun. The rain was a tool or ingredient that we depended on. It was a necessity. Sometimes the pain in our lives is a necessity, something we can’t live without, because yes, there is a purpose for it! For me, my pain or rain was where my relationship was forged with my Heavenly Father, creating an unbreakable desire to be close with the only one who could calm the raging storms. It is a love story better than any Nicholas Sparks Novel. The picture of a broken daughter running to her father in the pouring rain as the storm rages on. That was me. And that can be you too!  I truly believe my spiritual journey would look incredibly different if God hadn’t allowed those rain clouds to enter into my story. But you see that’s not where it ended for me. It may be more abstract, but I took away so much more. The rain doesn’t just affect us in a linear season. It’s generational! God doesn’t just grow your strength, your faith, your peace for a season and it doesn’t just affect you. We benefit today from the rain the earth received before the seeds were even planted. When you sow a seed in the ground it takes time, you don’t get fresh salsa the next day. It takes sun, rain, and even some pruning, [cutting away the bad and unnecessary stuff] then you get the tomatoes 6-8 weeks later and you can enjoy the fresh salsa. [Don’t you worry… I asked my husband about the gestation period for a tomato… he said… don’t you mean germination… HA! Tomato- Ta-maa-to… am I right!] So now that you’re hungry, and are currently adding Fresh Salsa to your grocery list…let’s get back to the big picture. We need the rain throughout the story, we need the rain to grow us- to feed us. Because if all we have is sunshine, we won’t grow. The inevitable trials and tribulations sometimes are what we need to prepare us for a future and help change the future of those around us. 

In her book with Charlotte Gambill- Dare to Be… God is Able are you willing?; Natalie Grant writes “We learn more about God’s character in the storm than on the mountain”. In Matthew chapter 14 we see Jesus allow his disciples to go on head of Him knowing there was a storm coming. When the storm began to rage… is when he appeared to them- coming down from the mountain right into the middle of the storm. That storm grew Peter’s faith as he stepped out on the water walking to Jesus. And yes… he stumbled…but that is when he is saved by God’s amazing grace. And the Lord reached out His hand… just like He does for us… He extended His grace, mercy and love. You have to remember… There has never been a love so great as the love of Jesus. You see regardless of the rain or the storms, we can hold on to the beautiful promise from Isaiah 43. He reminds us that we have been formed by His mighty hand and saved by His love. That when we pass through the waters, He will be with us- and when we pass through the rivers… they will not sweep us away and when we walk through the fire… we will not be burned. How many of us call out to God in complete desperation when everything is good and sunny?! if I’m honest, not me. The rain prepares our hearts to depend on our Heavenly Father.  At the end of the book of Isaiah we get a picturesque description of heaven “they will build houses and dwell them. They will plant vineyards and eat the fruit” Isaiah 65:21. He says “my chosen ones will enjoy the work of their hands” [65:22].The seeds that were planted needed both sun and rain in order to grow into bountiful vineyards that feed families for generations. So even though rain and storms may come we can hold on to the promise that our Lord will be with us, and know that each storm is a necessary ingredient, a tool to grow us and strengthen us as we follow Christ. And even though rain may cause floods, destruction and deviation- it also helps grow the most beautiful plants, flowers, trees and vineyards… ones that last generations.
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