Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: rain (10/17/05)
TITLE: The Wonder of God's Reign
By Michelle Fout
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After I moved to the southwest I learned to love thunderstorms that could last for days in a row. They would often bring long rolls of thunder that would begin a vibration somewhere in the middle of my chest and continue until my ears tingled with the pounding intensity of it. I remember standing outside my fiancé’s apartment door and watching one particularly severe thunderstorm roll its way towards us. It looked like heaven imitating an angry ocean or something straight out of the book of Revelation. The hair stood up on the backs of our necks as we watched the broiling tower of clouds looming over us making us feel small and finite. I have watched steel-gray skies split and pour such a quantity of waters upon a sun-scorched ground so quickly the land could not receive it. Instead of bringing relief the deluge would wreck havoc on the resistant earth. The aftermath would reveal a ravaged and scarred land. I still wonder how such treatment could later produce a riot of temporary color; pale pinks and purples, oranges and yellows and maroons, small patches of green against backdrops of tan and cream, but it does.
I live in the northwest now and my fascination with rain has continued and deepened. The rain falls softly and steadily here much of the year. It is not always enough to interrupt the little leagues or keep me out of my gardens but enough to keep the ground soft and pliable; not completely muddy but wet nonetheless. I am reminded of what a provision rain is on the days that the sun breaks through and lights up the world. The air is freshly bathed with the scent of pine and bark. The skies are washed to the cleanest and clearest of blues and the grass is sufficiently nourished and luxuriantly green. It is truly a feast for my senses, a reminder of the beauty and majesty of God.
This soft constant infusion of moisture makes me appreciate God’s reign of love in my spiritual life. I am reminded that daily trickles of trials and tribulations nourish and strengthen my life. They keep my heart pliable to his teaching and fertile for the seed of His word. I have seen loved ones in my life refuse the steady diet of rain and watched their hearts harden in the self-imposed drought, watched them refuse the daily reign of love. I have witnessed God, according to His timing, pour love upon them in merciful torrents refusing to allow them to go without completely. I have seen the destruction of such a relationship with God seen the dreariness of such a dry bleak life filled with monotone browns and bleached out blues. I have watched their landscapes change after this merciful ravishment, the hint of refreshment putting blush to their cheeks only to fade as their hearts harden once more.
I have surrendered to the northwest rain as I have chosen to surrender to the reign of God’s love for me. I try to remember though, his lessons within the wonder of rain. Now when I see that sun-baked landscape in other’s hearts, I have learned if I pour out His love too hard and fast it will only serve to wash off the possibly fertile layers of top soil; at most it will produce only a fleeting hint of color. I know it is better that I slowly ease His love into their life, a patient mist filled with crystal rainbows, until their hearts are ready and tingle with pliable anticipation for the thunder and reign of His constant love.
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