I love the rain
It’s raining today. Not all people enjoy the rain, but I do. All pluviophiles like the way a rainy day slows us down. It makes us go inside to our favorite spaces. And while I enjoy the sunny days and the things we get to do outside, my home has always been my favorite place. So the rain has always been a good excuse to do inside things.
A rainy day is good quilting weather. It’s good baking weather. Reading is best done on a rainy day. These are days when a cup of decaf and a good book is hard to resist. It’s easy to fix a big pot of chili on a rainy day.
I love the smell of the rain, and its smell is different in different parts of the world. The rain makes things grow. It flows into every nook and cranny to bring its moisture and refreshing.
Rain is used as a metaphor in the Bible.
In Exodus 16:4, God “rains down” the manna from heaven. It was an abundant supply that calmed the grumblings of the Istaelites.
In Deuteronomy 32:2, Moses encourages Israel as they finally enter the promised land. And he says ,” My doctrine shall drop as rain, my speech shall distill as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb and as the showers upon the grass.”
The last words of King David speak of how God will care for Israel.
And fhe shall be like the light of the morning when the sun rises,
A morning without clouds,
Like the tender grass springing out of the earth,
By clear shining after rain.’2 Samuel 23:4
And my favorite passage about rain is Isaiah 55:9-11.
For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
And do not return there without watering the earth
And making it bear and sprout,
And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater;
So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth;
It will not return to Me empty,
Without accomplishing what I desire,
And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.Isaiah 55:9-11
I love my Bible. The Word of the Lord flows to every part. When I read it or hear it preached, I goes down to my innermost places. My soul slows down. Oh how much more I need to learn! The Word will often stop me from wrong thinking and set me on a right path. It will sometimes inconvenience me and make me “go inside” to consider what other things need to be taken care of.
I think this is one reason why Jesus praised Mary and said she chose the better part. She had left the hustle and bustle of making a good impression for the guests, in favor of just sitting at the feet of Jesus. That rain of the Word of the Lord, had stopped her and she was enthralled and comforted by it.
Martha couldn’t bring herself to do that. Later we find out that she did learn her lesson. But on that day in Bethany, Martha got it wrong. There was work to be done, and as always [insert a sarcastic roll of the eyes] the women had to do it. Ah, but remember, that account of Mary and Martha serves to remind us NOT to be like Martha. We should be like Mary.
I might step on some toes here, but I think I’ll risk it. Even good things can become idols. Too often we neglect our devotion to the Lord, things like Bible reading and study and prayer, for the good and important tasks of the day. Too often we neglect the church service and being fed in the Word for the good and important tasks of serving in the church. While nursery and kitchen work and teaching Sunday school are good and important, they are not more important than your presence in the services. That’s why we take turns doing those things. I know, it’s hard to be consistent with that in a small church, but we must. No one should have to be the Martha and be forced to choose the lesser part.
Ladies, guard yourselves that the work you do never becomes more urgent than your time at the feet of Jesus.
When we let our minds spend time and dwell with Him, good things happen. Good thoughts and ideas come from a mind that is stayed on Him (Isaiah 26:3). How will we know when God is leading if we don’t slow down and listen?
I think God gave us a book out of His wisdom, knowing that we need more than just a quote a day from my Facebook feed. He knows we need more than an automatically downloaded podcast that I can listen to while doing ten other things. I might be able to glean what I need in politics and craft ideas that way, but I need more than that from the Word. God knew we needed our eyes focused on the page doing nothing else but that every day.* And when we do that, we get a burden to go and do….and those burdens are likely God’s leading if they come from His Word and the doors begin to open in that way.
Let the rain of God’s Word flow into every nook and cranny of your heart and life. Let it wash you. Let it renew you. Let it force you to go inside. And may we have a downpour of it often, not just a drizzle here or there.
*For clarity, I do not believe that if you don’t read the Word every day that you will automatically be out of God’s will and begin to fall in your Christian walk. It is not a magic formula. I do believe, though, that the food we need and the answers we need are in the Word, and we ought to have some sort of discipline of reading it as often as we can. It is by orienting our mind and heart toward God that we grow and follow the path God has for us (Psalm 119:105).