Monday, January 19, 2009

Lessons from Rain

Rob Bell shares the story of the time he took his one-year son Trace for a walk through the woods. He carried Trace in a hiking pack on his back and when they set out the weather was perfect, his child was making happy chirps and squawks in his ear. Rob later looks up and he notices that clouds have appeared and then it starts to rain. It always rains, doesn't it? The scriptures say all sorts of things about rain and storms.
When Jesus is teaching about what it means to live like the fullness of life in his kingdom--When Jesus speaks of it, he speaks of two different people, He speaks of a person who builds their house on sand, someone who chooses to reject his teachings, and someone who builds their life, their house on rock, who chooses to build their life, on Jesus' teachings.
And then the metaphor he uses it that of a storm that comes. And the person who rejects his teachings and his truth, essentially the house built on sand just gets destroyed. But the house built on the rock stands. So this idea that when the rains come, it's not they might, they do.
It rains in our lives ...a lot."

What are some of the storms in your life? Is is raining now? I would have to say that yes, at this moment, I feel as though it is raining. And not a quiet gentle rain, but rather the kind of rain that soaks my clothes and just plasters my hair. And when it rains like this, I cry out before God. Rob Bell says that when the drops of rain first began to fall, his little boy was calm but eventually he began shrieking with terror. Trace, from deep in his being starts to yell and cry so loudly, with such passion and terror in his voice. Rob then stops and removes his son from the hiking pack on his back and carries him close to his heart for the rest of the walk.
God says these amazing things like, "When you cry out to me, I listen." "The Psalms speak over and over about crying. About crying out to God."
Is anyone crying for help? God is listening, ready to rescue you. Psalm 34:17 (The Message)

O LORD, the God who saves me, day and night I cry out before you. Psalm 88:1 (NIV)

He even says, "I cannot ignore the cries of someone who is afflicted." If I'm hurting, lost, soaking wet, scared, confused. God says, You cry out and I hear. God even says that when you cry, He is close to the broken-hearted. He's close to those who cry out and admit they're hurting, lost, soaking wet, scared or confused.
I am so thankful that God debunks the idea that somehow I've got to have it all together in order to have a relationship with Him. Instead he says to us, "When you come to me, come to me with all your junk, with all your problems, come to me all screwed up, all messed up. Let me take care of it.
I want to get through the rain with my heavenly father holding me close, hearing my cries. I want to hear his voice whispering in my ear, "I love you daughter. We're gonna make it. Dad knows the way home." When you are going through really hard times and everything seems hopeless, do you still trust that God knows the way and that you're going to make it? I pray we trust even as we cry out in the rain.
"There you saw how the LORD your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place." Deut. 1:31 (NIV).

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