Rain

It is hard to imagine this earth without rain.
We get all technical and refer to something called “the water cycle,” but what we mean is rain—clouds of vapor building until they are too heavy to stay aloft so they wring themselves out. Winds may push the clouds along in a different direction from the earth spinning below but somewhere the dry land gets wet. With enough rain the shallow creeks think they are rivers while rivers act like tidal waves spreading out in all directions at once.

When it is cold enough, the clouds dress in their gray winter clothes and sprinkle snow down from their high places to the earth below. We should not be fooled by these gossamer robes. When the weather warms, the costumes come off and we see that snow is only water after all. In the spring, swollen rivers care not whether their cargo fell as ice or rain.

No one can dance to the rhythm of the rain; it is too broad and irregular. It can rain for days at a time or not rain for even more. Drought conditions can give way to flood conditions in a matter of hours if the rain is heavy and hard enough. The earth and its people need the rain and depend on it to till the soil and make flowers and food stuffs grow.

Rain is a biblical image for the blessings of God to His people.
The parched earth is a picture of a people whose life rhythms have been disrupted by drought, a long time without rain. Crops are in trouble which means the people are in trouble, their flocks and herds in peril as their pastures bake in the sun. The people call on God for relief that only rain can bring.

Over the horizon water evaporates from the surface of the sea and rises to form clouds. The warm air ascends carrying the moisture with it as winds begin to push the thickening clouds toward the drought-stricken land. Soon the clouds turn from a bright white to a deep blue as they walk on lightning legs to cast their shadow over the thirsty earth rumbling a booming prophesy of what is to come—rain. When there has been no rain and then comes the storm, there is rejoicing not fear. The land, the animals, the people welcome the drenching.

Today our lands are dry.
White clouds tease us but they are clouds without rain. Arid winds, hot in our faces, fail to refresh us. It is time to turn to the Lord and seek His blessings. He will send rain. He has promised an outpouring of His Spirit in these last days. Even now the sea of His mercy is building up the cloud base as the prayers of the saints ascend to the Throne of God. Not a water cycle but a blessing cycle is at work: praise and prayer ascending; blessings descending.

There shall be showers of blessings!
God is pouring out His Spirit on all flesh! The air we breathe is growing thicker with the waters of life as the Word of God is proclaimed. Signs and wonders follow the Word like bolts of grace striking here and there. The thunder of praise from the church is shaking the earth, preparing the way of the Lord.

He is coming! He is coming now in our worship and in our obedience. He is coming soon in clouds of glory—clouds full of the rain of His goodness and justice. Look to the horizon and expect to see the forming clouds, the coming rain. Our fields will not always be dry, our riverbeds will not always be shallow, but our prayers must always be humble. He has promised rain but we must be prepared for the deluge, ready to rejoice in the drenching.

Scriptures:
Psalm 72
Endow the king with your justice, O God, the royal son with your righteousness. He will judge your people in righteousness, your afflicted ones with justice. The mountains will bring prosperity to the people, the hills the fruit of righteousness. He will defend the afflicted among the people and save the children of the needy; he will crush the oppressor. He will endure as long as the sun, as long as the moon, through all generations. He will be like rain falling on a mown field, like showers watering the earth. In his days the righteous will flourish; prosperity will abound till the moon is no more. He will rule from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth. The desert tribes will bow before him and his enemies will lick the dust. The kings of Tarshish and of distant shores will bring tribute to him; the kings of Sheba and Seba will present him gifts. All kings will bow down to him and all nations will serve him. For he will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help. He will take pity on the weak and the needy and save the needy from death. He will rescue them from oppression and violence, for precious is their blood in his sight. … Let grain abound throughout the land; on the tops of the hills may it sway. Let its fruit flourish like Lebanon; let it thrive like the grass of the field. May his name endure forever; may it continue as long as the sun. All nations will be blessed through him, and they will call him blessed. Praise be to the Lord God, the God of Israel, who alone does marvelous deeds. Praise be to his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and Amen.
Isaiah 45:8 NIV
“You heavens above, rain down righteousness; let the clouds shower it down. Let the earth open wide, let salvation spring up, let righteousness grow with it; I, the Lord, have created it.
Joel 2:23-24 NIV
Be glad, O people of Zion, rejoice in the Lord your God, for he has given you the autumn rains in righteousness. He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before. The threshing floors will be filled with grain; the vats will overflow with new wine and oil.

Prayer Song:
Send Your Rain
Words and Music: Kelly Carpenter

Send Your rain, Oh Lord! Send Your rain, Oh Lord!
Send Your rain, Oh Lord, to Your People.

Soften our hearts and pour out Your Spirit,
Fill us anew. Let Your rains come!
Soften our hearts and pour out Your Spirit,
Fill us anew. Let Your rains come!

May Your Kingdom come, and Your will be done
On the earth as it is in heaven.

Send Your rain, Oh Lord! Send Your rain, Oh Lord!
Send Your rain, Oh Lord, to Your People

Song:
There Shall Be Showers of Blessing
Words: Daniel Whittle; Music: James McGranahan

1. There shall be showers of blessing:
This is the promise of love.
There shall be seasons refreshing,
Sent from the Savior above.

Refrain:
Showers of blessing,
Showers of blessing we need;
Mercy drops ‘round us are falling.
But for the showers we plead.

2. There shall be showers of blessing:
Precious reviving again;
Over the hills and the valleys,
Sound of abundance of rain.

Refrain

3 There shall be showers of blessing:
Send them upon us, O Lord;
Grant to us now a refreshing;
Come and now honor Thy word.

Refrain

4. There shall be showers of blessing:
Oh, that today they might fall,
Now as to God we’re confessing,
Now as on Jesus we call!

Refrain

Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved

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