Finally, the rains have come. Is anything more precious than a soft, steady drizzle? As much as I’ve enjoyed the extended heat of this summer, rain was scarce. You can almost hear the ground slurping up every little drop.
Though I’ve always been a big, blue sky Alberta girl, I just adore the rainfall in whatever form it comes. Anything from the mildest dewy mist, to a torrential cloudburst that overruns the eavestroughs and inundates the roadways gives me great joy. What compares to the primordial and magnificent violence of lightning and thunder storming directly overhead? Alternately, nothing is more blissfully comforting than to lay in your bed, lulled by a gentle tattoo of raindrops accompanying the night. Clear shining after rain makes you glad to be alive.
Water is life, which we tend to take very much for granted. Great cycles of precipitation, evaporation and humidity envelop the earth, sustaining all life. Without fresh moisture regularly, things rapidly turn dire. Nothing is worse than drought and famine. Perfect conditions for raging, unquenchable fires become optimal, as we have recently experienced in the provinces.
The imagery of rain figures largely in Scripture. It is a metaphor for any number of concepts. We’re not seven chapters into Genesis when great rains are used as an act of judgment by God (Genesis 7:25). Drought conditions occur as the reaping of sin and rebellion (1 Kings 18). Even in the Gospels, the rains descend into flood and wind that breaks against both the houses of the righteous and the foolish, symbolizing unavoidably calamitous and testing conditions (Matthew 7:25).
For the majority of metaphors, however, rain means blessing. It symbolizes God’s attentive care in rejuvenation and refreshing of the human soul. His presence is a form of moisture we require continually, and He faithfully promises it, both upon the land and our own internal landscape.
All through Covid, a particular verse has snagged and held my attention. It is Zechariah 10:1.
Ask ye of the Lord rain in the time of the latter rain; so the Lord shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field.
Although we assume faithful rainfall will come to our physical and spiritual environments, we are invited here in this passage to actually ask for it. When rains should be coming, and they aren’t, we must make special request. This was a strong directive to my spirit as the pandemic stretched on indefinitely. As Churches were shut down and services barred, divine sustenance in fellowship was cut off. Christians everywhere had to hunt for solid sustenance to the soul all by themselves. The authenticity of their personal relationship with the Lord through the Word and prayer was tried in the crucible of a long refining.
This Internet generation has gotten accustomed to the world’s best scholars, preachers, evangelists and prophets at their fingertips. Despite these tools, not all of us have prospered spiritually in lockdown. Many have lost their way, stultifying in their faith. Since restrictions have lifted, though, the numbers returning to Church are definitely lagging. There’s a very laissez faire attitude about the Sabbath. Why? Don’t give me the excuse of Covid transfer at close quarters. If you can blithely swing into Superstore for groceries, or Walmart for errands, where the contact points for transmission are a thousand times greater, that excuse is a deception. Has streaming just made you lazy? Can’t be bothered to shower and dress on a Sunday morning? It’s time to get real about why you are, in fact, forsaking the assembling together of believers (Hebrews 10:25). Is it any surprise that you’re terribly dehydrated?
Psalm 133 paints us a beautiful picture of what actually happens in the Spirit when believers are gathered together. There’s not only fresh anointing oil present, there’s blessed humidity!
As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.
The seasoned learn to recognize the rains in whatever manifestation they may come. Pay attention to how the Lord is supplying water, because it’s almost exactly the same. Very seldom are we quenched through dramatic deluges or steady downpours, although that is what we prefer. In fact, most times, grace comes like the dew; new every morning. It appears quietly, and without fanfare. Like manna, you have to be present in the appointed, anointed place for survival.
Clouds of the Spirit are amassing on the horizon. I hear the sound of an abundant rain (1 Kings 18:41), but if you want revival rains, you've got to show up.
…and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth. Hosea 6:3
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