Friday, June 10, 2016

He Will Come to Us Like the Rain

My heart has been so heavy lately--
heavy with sadness and anxious for my children's future.
Pondering and contemplating.
And there is just a weight on my shoulders.
I walked out of the house this evening with some errands to do,
and my six ducklings tagging along (one of which is taller than I am now).
I went to pull the car out, and there had been a little rain.
It's so lovely how it clears the air,
and fills my senses with its cleanness.
You don't know what a luxury and a mercy water is
until you move into a desert.
But it's such a precious gift when water falls free from the sky,
and washes out the dust.

The very first rain that ever fell on this earth was judgement.
Forty days and forty nights of it.
It was unfamiliar, but well earned.

Later, with the law, came a promise:
"I will give you rain in its season,
the land shall yield its produce,
and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit."
(Leviticus 26:4)

And there was a promise to Israel:
"The land which you go to possess
is not like the land of Egypt from which you have come,
where you sowed your seed
and watered it by foot, as a vegetable garden;
but the land which you cross over to possess
is a land of hills and valleys,
which drinks water from the rain of heaven,
a land for which the Lord your God cares;
the eyes of the Lord your God are always on it,
from the beginning of the year to the very end of the year.
And it shall be
that if you earnestly obey My commandments which I command you today,
to love the Lord your God
and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul,
then I will give you the rain for your land in its season,
the early rain and the latter rain,
that you may gather in your grain, your new wine, and your oil.
And I will send grass in your fields for your livestock,
that you may eat and be filled.
Take heed to yourselves, lest your heart be deceived,
and you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them,
lest the Lord's anger be aroused against you,
and He shut up the heavens so that there be no rain,
and the land yield no produce,
and you perish quickly from the good land which the Lord is giving you..."
(Deuteronomy 11)

"He shall come down like rain upon the grass before mowing,
like showers that water the earth."
(Psalm 72:6)

"Come, and let us return to the Lord;
for He has torn, but He will heal us;
He has stricken, but He will bind us up.
After two days, He will revive us;
on the third day He will raise us up,
that we may live in His sight.
Let us know, let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord.
His going forth is established as the morning;
He will come to us like the rain,
like the former and latter rain to the earth."
(Hosea 6:1-3)

If you follow the rain through the Scriptures, you find two things:
the judgement of God in its destructive power;
and the mercy of God in providing it in its season.
Oh, and also famine.
Whether in giving it, or in withholding it, our eyes ought to be on Him.
We need Him to rain softly on us, to water us for fruitfulness.
We need Him to hold it back in seasons of sunlight, so we don't drown.
We recognize His judgement in flood and in famine.

I rejoice in a soft rain.
The loveliness of its smell, the coolness it brings to the dusty earth.
But I want it temperately.
I do not want a flood of judgement.
And I want enough.

So this evening, I breathed in the cleanness, and thought of Him.
But I did my errands heavily.
We looked out the windows of the store
as we brought our purchases up to pay,
and the sun was low and slanting in the sky.
The clouds were dark.
The sun broke through, and lit up the wet world
and the green trees from within.
We hurried to buckle the babies in standing in the rain.
And to get them out again at the next store.
The kids deliberated over their purchases, but finally decided,
and we prepared to run out to the car again.
But one step out of the store, and we were stopped in our tracks.
There was a brilliant double rainbow spanning the entire town.
From the set of hills south of us into the set north of us.
Glowing neon.
We stood and pointed.
It was just a soft rain, and we were mesmerized.
And I was reminded again of His judgement,
and of His covenant of mercy.

And God said: "This is the sign of the covenant which I make between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the earth..." (Genesis 9)

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