Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: rain (10/17/05)
TITLE: The Rain Must Fall
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The preservation of the quality and quantity of our drinking water is a major concern in light of the contamination issues that we face in the “modern” world that Man has developed.
Rain, the primary source of fresh water for most people, is something that we take for granted until a shortage or an environmental issue occurs and awakens us to the part that the quantity and quality of fresh water plays in the quality of life that we enjoy.
Spring and fall rains often determine the quantity and quality of the crops of food production. Not enough rain and the crop can be lost to drought; too much rain can be the cause of the same crops being devastated by flooding.
The arrival (or withholding) and quantity of the seasonal rains were seen as direct blessings or curses from God (Lev. 26: 4, 19) when Israel was primarily an agricultural society.
We can be easily disappointed when outdoor activities are either marred or cancelled due to rain.
One of the first lessons about prayer that I can remember in my Sunday school days as a child had to do with rain.
In the lesson, children prayed for good weather for the coming weekend so that they could make the best of the annual Sunday school picnic. Surely God would be open to such a request.
But on the other side of the same town, a farmer was praying for the much-needed rain in order to save his crops that were about to be lost due to lack of water.
When the rain came down so hard that the Sunday school picnic had to be cancelled, the children were greatly disappointed and didn’t understand why God permitted it to rain. Hadn’t they been especially good and wasn’t a Sunday school picnic an event deserving of a blessing?
The self-centered sin nature within us often fails to look beyond our own desires and we need to learn through circumstances what we fail to learn through knowledge. God answered the prayers by providing the children with a learning experience and the farmer with a crop-saving rainfall.
Unexpected changes in the weather have played major roles in the outcome of many battles in time of war. Such “unexpected” changes did not take its Controller by surprise.
Although one war inevitably only proves to set the stage for the next, war is a fact of life in the world in which we live and will be so until return of the Prince of Peace. The One who controls the weather has all such matters under control as well.
Following the flood in the days of Noah, God announced that the rainbow is to be a sign from God that the world, in its totality, would never be destroyed by water again.
I always found it interesting that one of the elements needed to form a rainbow is water itself. This demonstrates how God can use the same element to bless, discipline, and to communicate.
All forms of adversity are not necessarily from the devil or evil persons. God also sends or allows adversity to come into the lives of His children, but always with a divine objective in mind.
Sometimes it is deserved and is sent for discipline; other times it is underserved and is sent for our spiritual growth. It is not until a disciple has experienced “total brokenness” that he/she becomes most useful in the hands of God. Understanding suffering takes spiritual maturity.
Resolving the issue of rain (adversity) in life is not a question of i-f, but w-h-e-n and h-o-w we r-e-s-p-o-n-d to it (Matt.7: 25-27).
Rainfall is NOT the time to consider the condition and location of our rain gear!
In the spiritual realm, our rain gear is the “words of mine (Matt. 7:24 NIV)" that we have (hopefully) stored in our souls
p-r-i-o-r to the onset of adversities of life. Like rain gear, it does us no good if we merely possess, but fail to make use of it in the storms of life.
It is for this reason that some Christians can go through the worst “rain storms” with the “peace of God, which transcends all understanding (Phil. 4: 7 NIV)”, while others fall apart with the mere appearance of clouds on the horizon.
Rain is a crucial element in both the natural and spiritual realm.
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