Saturday, April 16, 2016

Rain


“Ask the Lord for rain in the spring and he will give it. It is the Lord who makes storm clouds that drop showers of rain so that every field becomes a lush pasture.” Zechariah 10:1

The patter of rain against window panes is inviting and mesmerizing. My attention is riveted away from other things as I am taken captive to its gentle rhythmic sound. Rain speaks to me. The rain pelting down on the tin roof of my dormitory room at Bingham Academy in Ethiopia can still be heard in my audio memory bank. The sudden down pouring of the monsoon rains in Pakistan would wash away all the debris which had collected over time surrounding our summer home in the mountains. There was such a welcoming sense of the land being cleansed. Day after day during the monsoons I would sit on my back steps overlooking the valleys and hills and be in awe of how they turned varying shades of rich emerald green almost overnight. I have always loved the sound of rain. It is natural music and has a mysterious way of refreshing and soothing one’s soul. Suddenly the rain stops and the sun comes out. The birds, happily chirping away, flock back to the bird feeder once again and the green grass shimmers with rain drops. The trees break forth in new foliage and the flowers grow and blossom. Rain brings physical blessings and pleasures.

I’m not the only one who enjoys rain. My new believer friend, Amal, remarked one day to me, “I love rain.” When I asked her why she replied, “It makes me feel close to God. I like to pray when it rains.” She doesn’t fully understand that physical rain is symbolic of the Holy Spirit raining down His blessings and His presence upon her. It’s been interesting to observe Amal. She’s like fresh green grass growing after a spiritual rain shower. As the Holy Spirit touches her soul it is as if He has rained on her. She can look so refreshed and delighted after we read Scripture and discuss it and enter into a time of prayer. I love it when she says, “Oh, that was so good.” Her soul is fertile ground and after the spiritual rain has soaked her soul new growth is obvious. This is what makes Muslim ministry worth all the long hard work picking up the “stones”, plowing up the hard soil, planting the seed and waiting to see it bear fruit. Beautiful life and growth come from spiritual rain.

“Rain on me, Holy Spirit,” I often ask the Lord. Oh, how I need to be refreshed in my soul after encountering resistance, opposition or just the inability for my Muslim friends to understand the Good News. The clouds gather and weigh heavily upon me. Then the “rain” falls gently upon my soul and washes the languishing discouragement away. Like Amal, I love both physical and spiritual rain. We ask the Lord for physical rain when it is needed. Why not ask the Lord for His spiritual rain, too?

Dear heavenly Father, I need Your spiritual rain to soak my soul to keep going in this ministry. Please rain on me. In Jesus' name, Amen.