A Gracious Rain

Heavy clouds have come up over the charcoal bay. Their ominous, rotund shapes are forming on the horizon, reaching immeasurably high above the choppy waters. Sea birds skirt the shoreline and walkers dart back to their cars. The only evidence of the sun is a brilliant gleam of light that traces itself momentarily along the uppermost edge of the cloud. And then it is gone. I am watching the sky. It is growing blacker, and blurry with rain in the distance. A brisk, wet breeze rises from the south, and the weather is upon me. I am running now.

Soaked and half way home, I recall Psalm 68:9. “You sent a gracious rain, O God, upon your inheritance; you refreshed the land when it was weary.” I slow down to think. Why am I running? I think about a gracious rain to refresh the land. Rain upon the land always seems more like magic water, more invigorating and life giving than just city water out of a hose. My garden survives with water, but it thrives with rain water. I am wondering if I am like that too. If I stand in the rain, and let it pour down on me, will new life well up in me to refresh me? I give it a try. I look up and let the raindrops hit my face, my forehead, my eyelids and chin. It feels good. I think this should always be our posture – arms wide open, expectant, childlike.

In the Old Testament, the inheritance was the promise of what was to come, namely a land of abundance, freedom and blessing. Sometimes God said He was the inheritance. In the New Testament, those two ideas come together in Jesus Christ – the promise and the presence of God. Our inheritance is the Kingdom of God in Jesus Christ, both in us now, and what is to come. God’s presence and blessing now, and the promised glory of the kingdom to come. It’s ours, it’s here, and it will come.

How gracious of God to stop me in my tracks and remind me of his blessing pouring down upon my head, plenteous and freely given. It is true, some days we grow weary waiting for the promise. We hold fast, and pray, and struggle, and yearn. And then one day, when we know we cannot hold on any longer, He sends the rain. Something of blessing, something that gives life, something that cools down our hot heart. Maybe it is just a word of encouragement or the prayer of a friend. But it comes in our need. How gracious of God to come to us like the rain, reminding us of the harvest inside our souls that he is tenderly cultivating. You see, we are his inheritance too. He has not forgotten or given up on that promise.

The Lord will appear in our circumstances. In fact, He is already here. His call to us is to keep the faith, and He will get us there. I pray for you and me and everyone: “Lord, help us to tilt our heads towards you and open our arms wide to receive all the refreshment and blessing you desire to pour on us.” Then get ready for a solid drenching!

“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ… Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” 2 Corinthians 1:20-22

“Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield it’s valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You, too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.” James 5:7-8

“Test me in this”, says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it…then all nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land.”
Malachi 3:10-12