Spring rain! After a long, cold winter, a gentle spring rain smells so sweet. We know that with the rain will come the washing of the winter greys and new life will sprout from the earth. Rain brings hope.
Of course, too much rain can flood fields, destroy crops, flood towns, or just plain get us wet! We like our rain in moderation, not on the weekends, and just enough to water our browning grass. We like rain only when it is convenient for us.
Part of the problem is that in our society, for most people, we are many steps away from seeing the connection between the rains and our food. Our food comes from a grocery store, not from the ground. We realize intellectually where it comes from, but because we do not see our dependence on the rains daily, we often see rain in terms of how it affects us personally. We forget its essential role in keeping us alive.
But rain in due season is a gift of God, whether or not we recognize it. (Lev. 26:4, Amos 4:7, 2 Chron. 6:27)
Just like the rain that waters the earth, when the “clouds” gather above us in this life we are often tempted to “complain about the weather”. We see the first drops of rain and immediately begin to fear and pout. In a spiritual sense we are just as disconnected from the reality that it is in the trials of our lives that we are most blessed, when faith and hope can shine the brightest.
Some rains are gentle, some are heavy, and some are just plain downpours. Some last briefly, while the sun is still shining, and others envelop the entire sky and never seem to go away. But no matter the degree or duration, rain brings life eventually.
For those who are in Christ, we can know that the rains are part of the process of our sanctification and are not to be feared or always avoided. If we suffer for the sake of discipline we can know that even if “for the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, it will later yield the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” (Heb. 12:11) And if we suffer in the name of Christ, “we can rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us.” (Rom.5:3b – 5)
When it is unclear as to why the rain clouds have gathered, we can be confident that God is sovereign, “and that for those who love God all things work together for good “(Rom. 8:28a). We can put up the umbrella of faith and cry out with the Psalmist, “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God.”(Ps. 42:11) For those in Christ no hardship need be in vain, and we can be comforted that He “keeps track of all our sorrows. He has collected all our tears in His bottle.” (Psalm 56:8a)
So today let us be confident that rain is never wasted when it falls on the fertile soil of a softened heart. Let us pray that our hearts would be thus softened. Let us endeavor to scatter the seed of the Word near and far, so that when the rains come as they will, they will sprout and grow, and bear fruit. (Col. 1:10) Let us cling to our God as we are pelted by the rains of our lives, growing ever nearer to our Lord as we do.
Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord; His going out is sure as the dawn; He will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.” (Hosea 6:3)