It rained today. That may not seem very significant to anyone living in an area that receives frequent rain, but here it is an unexpected happening so close to the month of July. As I walked in the rain and felt the cool drops running down my face, soaking my sweatshirt, and fogging my glasses, I couldn't help but think of the dry places around me that were being softened. The ground that's become so hard to dig, so parched that only tenacious weeds can thrive there...the ones that appear when all others have died and turned brown.
Layer by layer the drops penetrate the surface and go deeper down to where the roots of the living are found.
The roots of the fruit trees in my yard hold on tightly down beneath the hardened top soil where I play with shovel and hose, where grandchildren run and throw the dog his ball.
Seeping down into the dark places that eye cannot see. Where wildflower seeds wait to be softened so sprouting can begin. I am reminded that it is not so different with me.
Those drops that soften. Is that not what God does for me...softens me? Does He not go deep into the dark and hidden places and bring His refreshing, living water? Especially on those unexpected days when my soul is hot and dry...in need of His rain. He softens hard things - hard hearts, stiff necks, knees that won't bend, and fists that are clinched. He softens hard places that we find ourselves in and teaches us to grow between the rocks there. With His water we can grow anywhere. The water He gives is more than rain, it is Spirit and life. It softens, it fills, and it cleanses.
I'm glad I couldn't get my umbrella out from under the heavy bags of horse feed in the car this morning and that I couldn't find the hood to my rain jacket...I am happy to be drenched! Not just by water that fell from the sky, but by the reminder of love poured out by my Father above who covers me with His rain from heaven...living water, full of mercy and grace.
His rain makes the soil of our lives soft enough to leave prints in the places we touch. It nourishes our souls and causes fruit to grow there... His fruit - Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Lord, bring on the rain!