Rain = Life
The story of these past few days here in North Carolina has been one of rain, clouds, rain, and more rain. We need it; when it’s too dry we worry we’ll never see it again; it’s one of the essential necessities for the presence of life; yet we complain when we don’t get it on our terms. And our terms tend to be limited to, “a couple of times a week, preferably in the night while I’m asleep, so I’m not inconvenienced.”
It’s tempting to leverage the rain as a spiritual metaphor, along the lines of how we need God for life, but too much of God makes us nervous; that we’d be much happier with God on our terms – just once or twice a week, and preferably when God isn’t going to intrude on anything else we have going on.
BALANCE: The idea has merit, but it falls down in terms of balance. God isn’t like the rain – God is like the rain, the sun, the fresh air, the heat, the cold, the clouds, the tempest, the splendor of the fall, and the promise of the spring. In other words, God invites us into the balance of all that nourishes, strengthens, and facilitates growth.
The passage of scripture that just jumped into my mind is this difficult quote from Jesus. “Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned.” – John 15:6. Jesus is not making a threat so much as an observation. Because, like everything else in this world, we have been created in order to grow and to bear fruit; and we won’t grow if we are not properly balanced; and we’re not properly balanced unless we are tapped into spiritual life; and we are not optimally tapped into God unless we know Jesus.
It’s still raining, it will likely continue to rain all weekend, and we may get buffeted by some winds. But it’s all good. I can look into the deep greens, the wet paths, and the saturated earth and I see how God wants to settle into my spirit and teach me deep truths. Likewise when the sun comes out, the temperatures drop, and the leaves begin to turn, I will feel his joy and my spirit will celebrate in gladness.
ABUNDANT LIFE: God doesn’t intend to suffocate me, hem me in, and stop me from enjoying this amazing life; quite the contrary! God wants to see the right kind of balance that produces light and growth; God’s promise is real, vibrant, fruit-bearing life. “I came so [you] can have real and eternal life, more and better life than [you] ever dreamed of” (John 10:10)
So let it rain – DEREK