Saturday, September 15, 2012

His Raining Faithfulness

(I had to steal this photo from my friend, Heidi, who is such an amazing photographer!)

My eyes had been straining to peer through my semi-fogged windshield for over an hour. The windshield wiper blades were on maximum speed and pretty much useless to keep up with the torrential down pours I had to drive through. Using the white strips to my left, I guided my car as straight as possible and would have mini-panic attacks as other, larger vehicles would come blazing by me, splashing even more, unmanageable amounts of water onto my overworked windshield wipers. I thought to pessimistic and tired self, "Of course I  would have to drive through thunderstorms all day!" I was journeying through an open, Missouri Valley south of Sioux City, Iowa on my 12 hour drive home from spending sometime with my family that weekend. The sky stretches as far as you can see in all directions making it easy to track the movement of storms.

The rain let up enough so that I could see the morning horizon darken yet another shade of blue against the green fields with twig-like lightning strikes dancing slightly to my left. Lighter, grey-colored clouds were to my right: There was hope! The system appeared to be moving slightly ahead of me, so I even slowed-up more to allow the angry clouds to pass. With a few more spouts of rain, I was reminded of a passage of scripture that brought color back into my whitened knuckles and eased the pounding of my temples:

"Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord;
    his going out is sure as the dawn;
he will come to us as the showers,
    as the spring rains that water the earth.” Hosea 6:3

Is it not remarkable that the rain proclaims the faithfulness of our God? Another verse with a similar reminder of His faithfulness can be found in Joel:

“Be glad, O children of Zion,
    and rejoice in the Lord your God,
for he has given the early rain for your vindication;
    he has poured down for you abundant rain,
    the early and the latter rain, as before."  Joel 2:23

ESV Commentary says that "for he has given the early rain for your vindication" can be understood as "the teacher (Hb.hammoreh) for righteousness." Keep in mind this is Old Testament text! Clearly, God is revealing more than his ability to make it rain but rather, using rain to remind us of His desire to give us righteousness through His Son, Jesus Christ!

 Such peace it brought to me as I drove down that long interstate highway that I know the God who opens up the sky to bring rain. Another thought that came to mind was the countless number of prayers that were being lifted due to the vast drought that had occurred along the interstate this past summer and I could not help but rejoice with the farmers that the LORD was faithful to their prayers and was bringing rains. 

"Ask rain from the Lord
    in the season of the spring rain,
from the Lord who makes the storm clouds,
    and he will give them showers of rain,
    to everyone the vegetation in the field."  Zechariah 10:1

I enjoy the commentary for this passage of scripture as well because it gives more of a background on how asking for rain would indicate the faithfulness of the Israelites. Paraphrasing, they were dependent on the rain--especially the spring rains for harvest. Going back to (9:17) God promised that he would provide grain and new wine for his people. So really this passage comes out as a challenge to trust the LORD instead of the pagen gods who also claimed to provide rain. 

That image of the sky ahead of me is still fresh in mind even weeks after arriving safely home from my drive. As I write this, I can hear the constant patter of rain outside the door of our deck and cannot help but smile.