If a topic or comment resonates with you or stirs up further thoughts or questions, please join the conversation!
There are no experts here, just fellow strugglers...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Rainy Day for My Soul

I have mixed feelings about the rain falling outside.  After dragging my feet for most of the summer, I finally pulled the trigger on finishing my porch project last week.  Naturally, this week we have the first decent rain we've had in three months, and so my porch continues to sit there without a roof and without any progress being made towards one.

But my brown, crunchy grass really needs the rain.  My dry, scorched soul needs the rain too.  I'm not sure why, but for some reason it's easier for me to slow down on a rainy day.  There's something about a rainy day that puts me in a more contemplative mood.  I'm much more inclined to want to sit inside and read or write, and somehow, I feel more permission to do that as well.  On a bright, sunny day I feel like I ought to be out there doing.  But today, its wet out there and it's warm and dry in here, so I'm more inclined stay inside and have a slower day of just being.

There's something more going on today than just preferring to be warm and dry though.  There's a spiritual reality going on outside my window that reminds me of what's true of my heart as well.  I see my grass and flowers' need for the rain.  I see them withering under the constant beating down of the sun and summer heat.  I see them turning green and coming back to life as they soak up the cool, refreshing rain.  I wish it were that easy to see when my soul's dry and withering.  I suspect others see it or feel it in me - people who sit across from me wanting to be cared for, friends who want to be with me and enjoy me, my wife and kids who want me to be fully present to them.  I expect they feel it when my soul's parched and there's little or no life there for me to give them.  And I know Jesus recognizes my soul's dry weariness too - not exactly the "abundant life" he came to give me.

Thankfully, sitting in my quite den this morning, I see it too.  I feel my need to rest, soak, and be refreshed.  Psalm 63 has always been one of my favorite Psalms.  I don't usually pay much attention to the small captions before each Psalm, but I've always been struck by this one: "A psalm of David.  When he was in the Desert of Judah."  It provides a striking context for David's words:
O God, you are my God,
       earnestly I seek you;
       my soul thirsts for you,
       my body longs for you,
       in a dry and weary land
       where there is no water.  (Ps. 63:1)
In an environment that creates physical thirst, David is aware of, and focuses on his soul's thirst for God.  We need "rainy days" where we rest, and soak, and are refreshed in God's presence.  Our souls thirst for the One who can give us living water.  I'm thankful for today's rain because it feels like a gift: a loving reminder and invitation to come and be refreshed and renewed by Him.