Today is going to be different. Why? Because today started out different. It is usually still dark when I get out of bed, so I can’t really see the weather. I always need to know the weather because I head out running about 6:15. The weather channel last night promised me partly cloudy and 57 degrees this morning. Perfect for a run! When I walked into my kitchen I heard something (surely not RAIN)! Oh, but yes, it was rain. I looked at the radar and there was one miniscule dot of green. My own personal RAIN cloud! Surely, this could only last for a few minutes, I thought. But 7 miles later-still RAINING! The strangest thing, no one else was out there running with me! Finally, about mile 8 I ran into my walking friend, who will tell you she is as crazy as I am!
So what do I think about when I run for 9 miles in the RAIN? At first, I thought about Pigpen from Charlie Brown with his own personal dust cloud. Well, mine was RAIN, but it seemed appropriate. But, being the good Christian that I would like to think I am, my mind started singing “Holy Spirit, Rain Down”. (It’s a worship song by Hillsong) Then I started to think about all of the RAIN and water references in the Bible. Apparently, RAIN is a great thing!
Well, let me qualify that statement. RAIN in the Bible is a good thing after you get past the flood (Noah’s Ark), and the plaques in Egypt. RAIN is pretty scary in those 2 instances.
After that we find God RAINING bread from heaven-Manna. I am really glad there was no bread in the RAIN this morning, that could have been dangerous.
In Leviticus and Deuteronomy RAIN is good, it waters the land and brings forth good things. But God also uses it as a warning.
And if you will indeed obey my commandments that I command you today, to love the Lord your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul,he will give the rain for your land in its season, the early RAIN and the later RAIN, that you may gather in your grain and your wine and your oil.And he will give grass in your fields for your livestock, and you shall eat and be full.Take care lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them; then the anger of the Lord will be kindled against you, and he will shut up the heavens, so that there will be no RAIN, and the land will yield no fruit, and you will perish quickly off the good land that the Lord is giving you.
In Samuel, God used RAIN to demonstrate His power, so that the people would fear Him. God also withheld RAIN as a sign of His anger that the people had turned away.
In 1st and 2nd Kings we again see God using RAIN to teach the Israelites. This includes the story of Elijah, and the prophets of Baal. It hadn’t RAINED for a really long time in the land. Elijah had all of the prophets of Baal gather to sacrifice to their gods. While they danced and did all sorts of things to get their gods to respond, Elijah looked on with confidence in the true God. Then it was Elijah’s turn. He built an altar and poured water all over it several times. Then he prayed. God sent fire that consumed the water-drenched altar. All of the prophets of Baal were murdered and in the end God sent RAIN.
RAIN was a sign of God’s favour and His power.
When we move into Psalm’s and Proverbs the language gets more poetic, but RAIN remains a sign of refreshment and favour.
Hosea 6:3 says (Last verse, I promise)
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.
So the Lord comes as SHOWERS and SPRING RAINS. This morning I ran in a SPRING RAIN. And, it did refresh me. I thought about the spirit RAINING down on me, and how the Lord teaches us through ordinary things like RAINDROPS, and how everyone else was missing out on this because they didn’t want to get wet.
That last thought was actually a big thought. Hang with me here just for another few lines. Hosea 6:3 says the Lord comes in the RAIN. If I am inside hiding from the RAIN, I don’t get wet, I don’t get refreshed. I miss out. The life of a believer is all about stepping out of our places of comfort and shelter and into other people’s lives. It can feel risky and it can get messy, but unless we step out we can’t get into the RAIN.
PS The image today is a lockscreen and is availble free in the image gallery
PSS I almost forgot to add the fun part. Did you know it is Tornado Week at the Weather Channel? My son informed me of this fact and I would be remiss to not encourage you to tweet #tornado week
PSSS If you are more curious about Tornado Week watch this video