I’ve been thinking about rain.
While I typically think of rain as water falling from the skies, its definition is as broad as: “a large quantity of anything falling rapidly or in quick succession.”
As in, a rain of abuse.
Those of us in the U.S. are in the midst of a presidential election which involves a barrage of words raining down, so much so that we are collectively soaked right through.
What’s falling on your head these days?
And to what effect?
- God says the words He speaks are like rain falling down (Isaiah 55:10-11).
- Moses prays his teaching will fall like rain (Deuteronomy 32:2).
- The prophet Joel speaks of Jesus whose teaching will “rainout of heaven, showers of words to refresh and nourish our soul” (Joel 2:21-24).
Showers of words that refresh and nourish sure do stand in sharp contrast with the relentless political pelting we’re taking right now.
Politicians and prophets aren’t the only ones to rain down words, though. I do, too. Especially as a writer and speaker. So I will ask of myself – to what effect?
Each of us is in a place of influence somewhere. We all rain down on those around us. We bring our own atmospheres, so I ask again, to what effect?
In Psalm 72, King David is offering a prayer for his son, Solomon, who is about to begin his reign. It’s an inaugural prayer. He prays for both the rain and reign of his son:
“Endow the king with your justice, O God …
May he defend the afflicted among the people
and save the children of the needy …
May he be like rain falling on a mown field,
like showers watering the earth …
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.”
This is the kind of rain/reign I long (and vote) for right now!
But is it also the kind of rain I, personally, bring? A question I need to ask. What are the effects of my words and works?
The commentaries tell me the rain David is praying for in the above prayer speaks of “an administration that is so gentle and easy, that it will refresh and revive the hearts of its subjects, and render them a flourishing people.”
- This is a reign/rain of righteousness.
- This is the reign/rain of Jesus (self-described as gentle with an easy yoke).
- Is it the reign/rain of me? Of you? Do we render a flourishing people?
One commentary (Barnes) speaks of the mown field on which the rain falls as one whose “grass has been eaten off by locusts.”
The idea, Barnes says, is that “after locusts have passed over a field, devouring everything, the rain descends, the fields revive, and nature again puts on the appearance of life.”
Oh, friend, I believe 2020 has left us as a devoured field. Do you feel the rawness of having been eaten down to such stubble by all that has descended upon us? We are in need of a righteous, refreshing, reviving reign/rain.
“He comes as rain comes,” Hosea says of God, “as spring rain, refreshing the ground” (6:3 Message).
“May he be like rain,” David prays over his son.
May we be like rain, I plead for us now.
May our words and works serve to heal. May we be good news to all on whom we fall. May we render them flourishing.
Be like rain: Our Little Life Words of the week.
- What’s falling on your head these days?
- What is the effect of your reign/rain on the lives of those around you?
- Intend to find ways to rain refreshment (through words or works)on one person each day this week.
- For three to five minutes a day, sit in silence and listen to the sound of rain. During this time, spread wide your locust-eaten land to the gentle reign/rain of Jesus.
- Our song of the week is: Healing Rain by Michael W. Smith
- Use Psalm 72 (David’s inaugural prayer) to pray for our current and future leaders.
Friend, our hope is not in politicians alone, it is in God and one another. Regardless of election outcomes, we the people can be like rain and in so doing, heal our land.