Thursday, June 3, 2010

When will it Rain?

Often the clearest I ever hear God's voice is through music and lyrics. There is just something about putting words to a melody that makes things click in my head... it all comes together. I had my ipod on shuffle this morning during our office stillness time, and a song by Misty Edwards came on that I hadn't heard in awhile (the beauty of shuffle: you find music you forgot you had). 

Waiting for the Rain:

Oh I'm waiting in this desert
Just waiting for the rain
Oh but I won't leave this desert
Until I see the rain

And I'm waiting in the wilderness
Of promises yet fulfilled
Oh but I won't leave this wilderness
Until I see the rain

I'm waiting for the rain
Oh I'm waiting for the rain
I'm just waiting for the rain
Oh I'm waiting for the rain

For I have heard the story told of a prophet who prophesied
Of the rain that would come in the middle of a drought
As a sign of the rain to come

And though years have come and years have gone
We're still waiting for the rain
Oh but I can see the clouds gathering now
Are you ready, are you ready for the rain?

Open up the heavens and let it rain, let it rain, let it rain
Open up the heavens and let it rain, let it rain, let it rain
Open up the heavens and let it rain, let it rain, let it rain
Open up the heavens and let it rain, let it rain
Just let it rain, let it rain
God let it rain, let it rain
Let it rain 

It's not a particularly deep song, but it really struck me. You see, here in South Asia right now we are preparing for the monsoon season. And yes, this will be my first experience with it. I've heard people say it's not so bad and I've heard horror stories. Needless to say, everyone has prepared me in knowing what to expect: it pretty much pours rain everyday apparently for four months straight. And of course with rain, brings flooding. And of course with pot hole filled roads and open sewage, well, you get the picture. 

But it seems to be the topic of conversation every day now. Everyone is asking "when is monsoon going to start?" Everyone is desperate for it to begin so it will cool down a tiny bit. I'm not so anxious. I'd rather deal with the heat than trudging through ankle deep water with who knows what in it every day to work. Everyone is buying their umbrella's. Us Americans here have our rain boots by the door ready to go when we need them. Drivers are starting to cover their rickshaws every night in case the rain starts.

And every day, there seem to be more and more clouds. There's that slight breeze that usually comes right before it rains. It gets a little dark. But nothing happens. It looks like the heavens might finally open up, and the whole city is waiting in anticipation. And then they don't.

And then I hear this song. This song about waiting for the rain. About not leaving the desert until I see the rain. A song about waiting in the wilderness for promises yet fulfilled. And the spiritual parallel was overwhelming to me. Now, I wouldn't say that I am dwelling in the "desert" right now overall, but there are definitely things in my life, our lives, that seem like deserts or wildernesses. There are definitely promises that I am still waiting to see fulfilled. And just when you think the skies are about to open up, they sometimes don't. God pulls back the clouds and says "not yet." We don't understand why. We may never understand why. And I realized something. Just like we are preparing for monsoon season here, we must also prepare for the "rain" in our lives. We must fix our leaky roofs, zip up our boots, grab our umbrellas and be ready for everything God has for us. Because rain isn't always easy. It's fun to listen to and watch when you're under a shelter, but who wants to watch God's rain pour out from a comfortable spot? I want to be immersed in it. I want to trudge through it. I want to dance in it. Sometimes we may need our boots to walk through it. And sometimes we may want to drop the umbrella, take off the boots and just soak it all in. And with the rain comes nourishment. With the rain comes a refreshing cool. 

I often face discouragement in my life; especially with the work I am currently involved in. I can often wonder why God sometimes seems silent on certain matters. Why are there broken relationships in my life that haven't been restored yet? Why do some trafficking victims never see freedom? Why do the bad guys not always get locked up and punished? God why are you silent in revealing certain things to me? The list for both my personal and professional life can go on and on.

And then come those sweet moments when the skies open up, and the rain just gushes forth in sheets. And it doesn't stop. It rains and rains and rains like its never rained before. I feel silly for ever doubting God. I soak up those moments. God puts me through periods of waiting. Periods of preparing. Periods of testing before he opens up the heavens. Because if I'm not prepared, it could be disastrous. 
God's timing is always perfect.

Just recently, several of our offices here in South Asia have seen God pour forth his rain like we've never seen before. After going through extremely long periods of drought, sometimes years of it, these amazing men and women of God have pressed through and saw God's rain. And I cannot help but smile, laugh in fact, because of God's continual faithfulness. 

I don't know how theologically sound that analogy is, but God certainly spoke to me through it. Just when we feel like going back inside, we feel that one drop on our head. We look up, see the clouds form, and watch hundreds of more droplets falling towards us. And those drops turn into sheets, drenching us in His blessings. 

His rain will come. 

It only seems appropriate to remind you of the all time greatest movie ever which happens to also be my favorite: "Singing in the Rain"
Go watch it. Gene Kelly will stun and amaze you.

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