“Ask the Lord for rain in the spring, for he makes the storm clouds. And he will send showers of rain so every field becomes a lush pasture.” Zechariah 10:1
(All scriptures in my blog are linked to Bible Gateway: just click to open)
The Land of Perpetual Rain
Northern Ireland is such a wet place – we have a lot of rain!
To be honest, if I open my curtains in the morning and see it’s raining, the first words that come out of my mouth are not usually “Oh what a beautiful, rainy day”
It’s all a matter of perspective isn’t it? If you live somewhere like I do – The Land of Perpetual Rain, your response to rain might be like mine.
God’s people in the Bible viewed rain as a tremendous blessing; in their desert-like places, a rainy day was a wonderful day!
In the Bible rain is also often used as a metaphor for blessing.
Rain is a promise, a blessing and a gift
I will bless my people and their homes around my holy hill. And in the proper season I will send the showers they need. There will be showers of blessing. Ezekiel 34:26
“The Lord will send rain at the proper time from his rich treasury in the heavens and will bless all the work you do. You will lend to many nations, but you will never need to borrow from them.” Deuteronomy 28:12
Also see Deuteronomy 32:2 Job 5:10 Psalm 147:8
God Often Blesses Us In Ways That We Don’t Recognise At The Time As Blessing
When we pray for rain at our church, (in the spiritual/blessing sense) I usually picture a deluge of outpouring of the Holy Spirit – of healing, joy, renewed faith, strength and hope. All resulting in a deeper, stronger walk with God and each other.
I want that! I want it for myself, my church, my family, my town!
Of course that’s often how the ‘rain’ we ask for does fall. But do you know what I’ve discovered? God often blesses us in ways that we don’t recognise at the time as blessing.
Sometimes our idea of what blessing looks like and God’s are two very different pictures
And what do people instinctively do when it starts to rain; we put up our umbrellas!
We grumble and complain, about the very thing that the Lord has given us to refresh us, to water our dry and thirsty places, and bring growth. We put up the metaphorical umbrellas of our old ‘default settings’, close the curtains and fail to recognise what God is doing as blessing.
But God has a way of not always doing things the way we He should.
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9
Think Before You Put Up That Umbrella !
Do you feel like you’re in the ‘land of perpetual rain’? Have you ever thought that the rain of difficulties and challenges you’re facing are actually a blessing? The rain isn’t falling on you because God doesn’t love you. It’s because He does!
The greatest blessing of this kind of rain is that in your difficulties you draw you closer to God, and learn to rely solely on Him and His strength. After all, He promises to be:
Your Provider: Philippians 4:19
Your Strong Tower and Refuge: Psalm 61:3
Your Peace: John 14:27
Sometimes, Christians pray for [spiritual] rain, with sunshine in mind.
But if it was sunny day and day out, the crops would fail, our gardens would dry up and die – we would call it a drought! We need rain. It’s why farmers the world over pray for it.
In the same way, we need these rainy times in our lives, how else would we learn to push into God, grow in faith, courage and strength, and reliance on Him?
It’s in these times that we recognise our need for God; we draw near to God, search His Word for nourishment, comfort, direction and strength.
Or, then again, we could choose instead to revert to “grumble default”, because the rain isn’t the kind we expected- put up the old umbrella and just miss the opportunity instead. 😊
“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. “For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle; and it shall make a name for the Lord, an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.” Isaiah 55:10-13