“Rain rain go away come again another day, little children want to play.”
A nursery rhyme taught me that rain is often unwanted. It robs us of the opportunity to enjoy the great big world of outdoor fun and pleasure. When one is on vacation, the prayer for good weather becomes even more a priority. And by good weather we usually mean only sunshine; no rain please.
Well, I just got back from Ireland where it rained at least fifty percent of the time while we were sightseeing. The locals say rainfall is normal not just at this time of the year, but pretty much all throughout the year. They tell us that rain is the reason for the lush green hillsides where sheep and cattle graze, that Ireland is known for. They don’t mind the rain that keeps their land fertile and productive.
“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. ” Isaiah 55:10-11
God’s word is like rain – a powerful rain that accomplishes his purposes. Everything God says comes to pass. And in my life and my walk with him, growth and fruitfulness are ultimately impossible without the heart-changing power of his word. When he speaks, I must listen and drink from the well of scriptural truth that he so generously provides.
Many of us have gone through dry spells during which God seemed distant. I believe God has a purpose for taking our journeys through the desert (for even there, he is with us). But it is striking how in my spiritual desert, God almost consistently uses a downpour of his word to break the famine of my soul, and soak the parched soil of my heart with his grace and truth, that I may be fruitful again.
Such is the love of Jesus, the Word Incarnate. He knows exactly what we need, and precisely when we need it. And in the wisdom of his love, he graciously pours unto us his life-giving word, which is always a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path (Psalm 119:105). In the security of his presence and with ears attuned to his word, we keep walking no matter how long and hard the trail may seem. Like the delightful folks of the Emerald Isle who know very well what it is that keeps their grass and foliage green, I, too, know and rejoice in the living water that sustains my soul.
“Remember your word to your servant in which you have made me hope. This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life.” Psalm 119:49-50