Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Rain Dance with God

CC image courtesy of lighthack on Flickr

~ Does anyone remember dancing in the rain as a child?  "Play rain," as my mother called it, was rain that came down in spring or summer which was unaccompanied by lightning.  My mind drifts to memories of running gleefully outside in a bathing suit just to lift my hands and twirl under the often tepid bath water temperature of rain droplets on my skin.  If a bathing suit was unavailable, I would endure the feel of a wet t-shirt and shorts.  The worst feeling was being in a place where I could not partake in a play rain soaking.  Such times included riding in a car when all I could do was wistfully stick my hand out a window.  Attending a formal occasion in which wet clothing was not part of the dress code also made the list of times when I felt like a wallflower on the sidelines of a missed rain dance opportunity.

As I sit on a porch now and watch a summer downpour, I feel God's invitation to dance in the rain once more.  If not physically...certainly spiritually.  Meditating on the pitter-patter of rain droplets hitting the ground, I become acutely aware of another pitter-patter at the door of my heart.  God was once again trying to impart wisdom through nature.

Truly, rain is a life source. Every flower, tree, and shrub needs it.  Even animals need the rain, for when the creek beds dry up they must search for another place to drink.  Just as plants and animals need water to live and thrive, so we as humans need a life-giving source.  As the ground must be soaked when it is in dire need of being quenched, so too do our souls need to be satisfied when we are beat down and stressed out.  A Christian that has experienced how life-giving God's Word is knows there comes a point in his or her Christian walk when a Sunday church service once a week, or a Bible verse here and there just doesn't cut it anymore.  How many flowers really thrive with a little sprinkling of water every now and then?  Just as plants look quite shriveled and downtrodden from lack of water, so do our spiritual lives look when we lack quality time with our heavenly Father. Psalm 42:1-2 speaks clearly:  "As the heart [deer] pants and longs for the water brooks, so I pant and long for You, O God. My inner self thirsts for God, for the living God." (Amplified)

Rain reminds me of how all-consuming God is... just as not a leaf is untouched during a heavy soaking, so nothing in our hearts is left untouched by the hand of God.  I must tell you friends, that once you accept God's invitation to dance in the rain He will leave no stone in your heart unturned.  I tell you this from personal experience... There is no half-way with God. You either give yourself up to His ways entirely, or you are left living a life less full than what God desires for you.  If we choose to die completely to ourselves and live for Him, He will not stop pursuing our wholeness as He soaks us to our cores.  This is because He wants to fill every ounce of our being to overflowing with His Holiness.  Did you know that rain cleanses?  Any pollen sufferer can tell you this.  So too does God want to cleanse us of our imperfections.

Photo by Jeremy Conrad

Now that I'm older, I realize how peaceful and refreshing play rain is.  When God ushers Himself in, it's like a cooling breeze.  In fact, the first time I realized God was in play rain I was driven to my knees to worship.  Isaiah 55:10-11 says "As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it."  (New International Version)

Friends, when was the last time you danced in the rain with God? ~