I have to admit, there are two things I despise, specifically when they are in concert together: cold and wet. The last three days have been nothing but cold and wet. I was bone chilled and soaked through and through at my son’s most recent football game. Due to the recent temp and precipitation, I have spent more time inside than I would like to admit. Self preservation, I suppose. As I write this, the crisp, cool breeze is blowing in through my window, and rain continues to fall gently outside.
When I was younger, my mother explained to me that the best kind of rain, is slow soaking rain. This is the kind of rain, regardless of temperature, that comes down so gently that the earth has time to receive it, almost in full measure. In contrast, heavy, fast downpours, come down so quickly that the earth doesn’t have time to absorb its nourishment.
Once, while subbing in a fourth grade classroom, I was to teach the water cycle. I took that opportunity to teach my students for the day, all about what my mother had once taught me. I likened it to drinking Dr. Pepper. They could be given this drink via a water dropper, one or two drops at a time, slowly, each drop enjoyed and none wasted, or someone could open the bottle, turn it upside down over their mouths, and what ever couldn’t been consumed would spill out and onto the floor. Obviously, they chose the first option where none of their precious beverage would be wasted. The connection was clearly made. They got it.
As I was writing in my journal a couple of days ago, about the slow,soaking rain falling outside, nourishing the thirsty earth, it struck me how our hearts are much the same. The heart of mankind needs the Word of God in slow, soaking measure, not in a deluge. Spending time, soaking in scriptures, learning, studying, slowly feeds the thirsty soul in a way that is accessible and nourishing.
This brought to mind those who’s hearts have hardened toward God. It made me think of grey, parched, hard earth, deeply cracked and pocked from years of unmet thirst. Even slow soaking rain is repelled, at first, by such severely dry ground. At first the rain runs off of the surface, searching for breaks, cracks in the hardened earth; a place to enter in, and begin to provide sustenance, refreshment. But, after a period of slow, soaking rain, even the hardest, driest earth begins to soften and receive the much needed precipitation.
Not every heart wants to hear the Word of God. They repel it. Sometimes this rejection is due to the Word of God being forced on them like a deluge, rather than in a gentle, slow, soaking measure. Unfortunately, I have hurt others with the Word, rather than help them, when I flooded them with judgement covered scripture. The scriptures I shared were pure, but the heart from which I shared them, was filled with judgement, not love. I have also seen first hand how my prayer, from a heart of pure love, can soften the hardened soil of another’s heart to receive Him and His Word. At first the Word runs off of the surface, searching for breaks, cracks in the hardened heart; a place to enter in, and begin to provide sustenance, refreshment. And when it enters, when it begins to slowly soak in, it waters the dry soul, providing much needed replenishment, nourishment, hope.
I am not sure where you are at today, parched or nourished, but you do. Are you receiving the slow, soaking rain, falling on your heart? Is it running off of the surface, searching for a place to enter in? Are you in a season of pouring out for others? Nourishing others with the slow, soaking scriptures? Whether you are soaking it in, or pouring it out, I pray that the Word of God is your nourishment to give and to share, both in slow, soaking measure.