If I cannot catch “the sound of noise of rain” long before the rain falls, and, going to some hilltop of the spirit, as near to my God as I can, have not faith to wait there with my face between my knees, though six times or sixty times I am told “there is nothing,” till at last “there arises a little cloud out of the sea,” then I know nothing of Calvary love.
Today when I dropped my kids off for their homeschool P.E. afternoon they jumped out of the car, joined their group on the field, and immediately it started to rain. The first rain we’ve seen in our area in quite a long time. And I watched the coaches and kids. Instead of the normal response of the rain ruining their outdoor fun, they all put their arms out and just drank it in. The rain they had prayed for as a group had been sent. They finally ran for cover after a good soaking with big smiles on their faces. And I have to admit to being a little disappointed when the rain quickly cleared and the clear skies returned.
And the Lord brought to mind some things He had been speaking to my heart for several months now. It began a few months ago with a message from someone special to our family. He shared this (this is only a portion of his message):
“I was praying for you guys this morning, and felt like the Lord had something for you. As I was praying, I just kept hearing three things over and over — “rain”, “mundane”, and “Let the rain fall”…I felt like He said that most people consider rain to “ruin a parade”, but that you’re not supposed to look at the rain that’s coming that way…I felt like He said that the rain that’s coming is an “investing rain”; meaning that its effects won’t be seen right away, but that it will water a seed that will blossom and produce fruit later that people will come and eat of. As far as the word, “mundane” is concerned, I felt like the rain might be something that feels mundane at times. Like, at times it was just going to seem cloudy/overcast (not in a tragic or depressing way, just not…exciting). But don’t forget to look at that rain as watering a plant that has not grown. And so, I pray, “Let the rain fall”! Let it fall, let it fall, let it fall. May it replenish plants already growing, may it keep cool those working in the garden, and may it invest in and nourish those seeds that have yet to turn into trees. Let the rain fall and wash away the little bugs that would try and eat the fruit. Let the rain fall and collect underground so that there is an entire reservoir for any dry spells that come down the road. I don’t know if that means anything, or is encouraging to you in the slightest, but I thought I’d share it with you.”
Yes, I’m very grateful to have people like this in our lives. At first, I scanned the message and then spent a few hours relishing the fact that God would take time to speak on my behalf to another person, that the person would take time to listen, and that God was so far beyond what I could ever deserve. I kept telling Him how much I loved Him. After that time, I decided to go back and read the message closely to see what my Lord wanted to say to me. Instantly I was hit with the meaning of the rain. When I shared it with John, he immediately heard another meaning for the rain. At the time neither of the things were happening to us or on our immediate radar. Today…they both are. Precious God preparing our hearts. Sometimes we pray for rain and then are disappointed at the way or timing in which it comes. Sometimes we very quickly say, “Enough!” Sometimes the very thing for which we cried becomes the thing we say is too much for us.
Overwhelming has been a bit of a theme lately. There’s just a lot of life right now that is a bit more than this girl has in me. Or is it? But as that rain falls, the very things that I can find most overwhelming are also the greatest and most fulfilling blessings of all. The job that has needed my husband’s complete focus for a short season leaving me to handle the home front on my own – overwhelming, mundane duties that I cannot handle or a gracious God pouring out provision for our growing family at a crushing financial time in our country? The four children I am with 24/7, doing my best to be mom, cook, nurse, teacher, coach, counselor, referee, and disgusting mess cleaner – overwhelming, mundane tasks that take more than I have or the very fulfillment of my heart and calling, my mission field, my heart’s desire? The home that never stops requiring attention – overwhelming, mundane chores that only have to be redone in hours or the gift of shelter and a center for the hospitality, community, and life that I have been called to? And the list goes on, just as yours does. Relationships, ministries, promptings of the Spirit, service – overwhelming and mundane callings I am unequipped to handle or challenges from a God who agrees to use a humble vessel when He could very well choose someone else more worthy?
What is the rain? Does it drench my fun, take away my freedom, mess up my hair, destroy my look, and mess with my plans or does it refresh, restore, heal, calm, fulfill, and breathe new life? Does the rain need to stop or do my plans need to change? Are my prayers a reflection of accepting what my Lord pours out or chasing the puffy, white clouds of “ease.” It’s not that God sends different rain or changes the rain. No, it’s my view of the rain. For Satan would convince me that the most important thing for me to do is escape the mess knowing full well that it is out there in that “overwhelming” deluge that God will pour out…and pour and pour and pour until the very things that I think I cannot handle turn around and in His mysterious and amazing grace become His sustaining fulfillment of my heart. So I choose to say with our friend, “Let the rain fall. Let if fall, let it fall, let it fall.” And I will put down my “mommy martyr mantle” and I will get out there and play in that rain. And I can’t tell you what a place of peace we are in as we stand here at this place in our lives. No human explanation to the next step of our crazy journey. No weather radar to tell us if there’s an easing in sight, no sign of fluffy, easy clouds…but I think I’ll even pass on the umbrella. Bring it on and just watch me go all Gene Kelly in it. 😉 And yes, these are actual additional lyrics to that song. God can use just about anything to speak to us.
“Why am I smiling
And why do I sing?
Why does September
Seem sunny as spring?
Why do I get up
Each morning and start?
Happy and head up
With joy in my heart
Why is each new task
A trifle to do?
Because I am living
A life full of you.
I’m singin’, singin’ in the rain.”