"Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm..."
Job 40:6 NIV
So I talked a little in my last post about how dry it had been here. Everything was so dry and dead, it looked like fall outside. I also talked a bit how I felt it was a reflection of the spiritual climate. I know I felt it. I was so parched and I didn't realize the extent of it.
I went to "church" last Sunday for the first time in a very long time. I knew in my spirit the Lord was up to something. He most definitely was. I got seriously delivered. And I'm not talking about your momma's deliverance either. I'm talking He ripped me open, dumped out my guts and then put me back together again. I was a wreck. And I haven't been the same since.
The funny thing is, it started raining that day and hasn't stopped since.
When it talks in the Bible about the former and the latter rains (see Deuteronomy 11 ), its referring to the early rains that fell in the fall when the crops were planted and the late rains that fell in the when they were harvested. One rain to prepare the soil, one rain to ripen the harvest. In Joel 2, Joel was delivering a word of the Lord to the people about the coming of the Lord. He was urging them to repent and turn their hearts back to the Him. When the Lord decided to have mercy on them, he restored their land and blessed his people once again with abundance
"Then the Lord became jealous for his land and had pity on his people....Be glad, O children of Zion,
and rejoice in the Lord your God,for he has given the early rain for your vindication; he has poured down for you abundant rain, the early and the latter rain, as before....You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you. And my people shall never again be put to shame. You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God and there is none else. And my people shall never again be put to shame...."
Tonight I decided to stand outside in the rain. I mean, I prayed so hard for it, I might as well fully enjoy it. As I stood outside, the now green grass soft beneath my feet, I thought about my life. I had been feeling really opened up and free since Sunday but the past couple of days I was starting to feel bound up again. I was just standing there, rain falling on my shoulders, talking to the Lord about it. I started to sing to the Lord. I just sang whatever came to my heart. And as I did, I started to feel the tension lighten and my spirit souring again. About mid way through my sound, a crack of thunder boomed in the sky and the rain began to pour. I had been singing about the rain washing me clean. I guess He decided to take me seriously. I was soaked.
I thought about Job and the hell he went through in His life. He was righteous and blameless yet the Lord allowed him to be stripped of everything he possessed. When Job began to fall into the trap of self-pity, the Lord used the wisdom of Elihu and the history of creation to bring things back into perspective. In the end, Job repented and the Lord blessed him abundantly.
I thought about Joel and his call to the people of Judah to repentance. Repentance was the key to restoration and the healing of their land. I thought about myself and how I'm prone to allowing myself to get dry or to give in to shame when I sin. But by simply turning my face to heaven with a repentant heart and pouring out whatever waters of praise I have left, I can be sure the return will be an abundance of Living Water to heal my soul.
There will be so much rain in life...no matter how long it takes to arrive. Rain to purify (think Noah), and rain to nourish and soften the soil and rain to sustain growth. Don't fight it. Let it come. No matter what, the end result will be a bountiful harvest.
"Come, and let us return to the Lord;
For He has torn, but He will heal us;
He has stricken, but He will bind us up.
After two days He will revive us;
On the third day He will raise us up,
That we may live in His sight.
Let us know,
Let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord.
His going forth is established as the morning;
He will come to us like the rain,
Like the latter and former rain to the earth."
Hosea 6:2-3 NKJV