"I will bless my people and their homes around my holy hill. And in the proper season I will send the showers they need. There will be showers of blessing." Ezekiel 34:26, NLT
I will bless my people and their homes around my holy hill. And in the proper season I will send the showers they need. There will be showers of blessing.
~ Ezekiel 34:26, NLT ~
I tend to be a negative person on far too many occasions. Just this morning I had to make an early morning drive to Wal-Mart in the rain. I got very wet putting the bags in the car as I left the store. Then to top it all off, the other drivers seemed a bit befuddled as to how to drive in the hazardous road conditions created by the deluging rains. As I got within a couple of blocks of my home, I was stopped behind the elementary school bus for a minimum of two stops and it took the kids twice as long to get on the bus because the parents were holding umbrellas over them and walking them up to the bus in a single file line. As I sat there in the rain, all I could think was, "Geeeeeeeeeeeessh!" Or however it is that you spell it. I think you get the point.
I know God did. This was one of those occasions He did not remain silent. I responded to the conviction right away and thought, "I'm sorry Lord, I know we need the rain." He answered right away, "Lisa, you really love the rain. What is it about it that causes you to complain?" Honestly, it's because today it inconvenienced me. It messes up my hair and my make-up. It soaks me, leaves me feeling very uncomfortable, and then I have to go change my clothes. I could avoid all of this. I could get an umbrella, wear a raincoat, and refuse to go out in the rain without my boots. I could refuse to go out in the rain at all. Then I could appreciate the rain for its true beauty as I smelled it in the air and watched it fall on the world around me.
Heavenly showers evoke a similar response in most of us. God sends the rains of mercy, love, grace, forgiveness, judgment, conviction, kindness, compassion... the list goes on and on. We even beg Him to send the rains. Then when it begins to pour, we put on our raincoats, grab our umbrellas, and avoid all the wet spots on the ground so we do not mess up our shoes. If we come unprepared we scurry from shelter to shelter to avoid getting wet enough to make us uncomfortable or ruin our appearance.
As a rule, we do not like to get snot faced in front of others, the carpet pattern looks ridiculous on our forehead, and God forbid we twirl around hilariously, at our age, in front of so many others--especially those who look far prettier at it than we might. Yes, Sunday after Sunday, we put on all our protective gear to keep from getting wet. There is no one more conscious of the rain than the woman who just fixed her makeup, or maybe whose hair doesn't hold curl well. No matter how you put it, she spends a great deal of time getting it all together so that, if the rain comes, everyone will see how much she enjoys it and how dignified she can be.
Now guys, before you get smug, I know that you do not like to get wet either. The tie is uncomfortable enough without the shirt getting soaking wet. Then there is the matter of your shoes. My husband is in the military; I watch him shine his boots. I know the pride you take in your appearance. The last thing us girls can expect is to see you twirling around the altar or wiping the snot from your face because the goodness of God has moved you to tears. If big girls do not cry, men will not be caught crying in public. You get your gear, too, just in case God sends the rain.
There is truly nothing more beautiful than the poetic enjoyment of the rain... the smell of it, the look of it, the need of it. It's all well and good so long as we do not get caught unprepared in it. There truly is nothing more beautiful than the poetic enjoyment of God's rain... but the reality is that the conviction of the Holy Spirit will drench us and make us uncomfortable. After watching it, smelling it, and walking in it, we will need to change into other garments. The ones we are wearing when it rains will get wet and muddy if we truly enjoy the experience of being in the rain.
The revelation of God's goodness and kindness will move even the most stoic to a humbled brokenness... covered in tears and snot, vision obscured by tired, itching eyes, sticky with gratitude. It will mar the appearance that all is well and lay our souls transparent before one another. The experience of the Beloved's passion takes the slow intimate time practiced between lovers. It can be inconvenient in that it takes us away from the things we desire to do and hides us in the secret place, sometimes keeping us there for hours.
What we fail to remember is the cooling gentleness of the raindrops that caress our skin and linger on our hair. What we fail to remember is the perfume of a tender cleansing, bathed in the fragrance of God's love. What we fail to remember is the refreshing that comes afterward. But most of all, what we fail to remember is we cannot survive without it. The crops of goodness, kindness, gentleness, patience, faithfulness, self-control, love, joy, and peace cannot grow without it. We will remain dried up, bitter, parched, offended, brittle, and fruitless unless the heavenly showers fall upon us and we soak them up, prostrate like the ground, absorbing all of their refreshing.