That brought up an interesting thought in this noodle of mine.
How many times has God attempted to "cleanse" our lives? And, how many times have we turned and dashed away for cover as if we wanted nothing to do with it? As I stood there at my car ready to open the door, I stopped and was getting wetter by the second. While mildly uncomfortable, it was quite a relief from the 100 degree temperatures which we experienced here in Virginia Beach for the day. I proceeded on with getting in the car and as soon as I turned the key, the song "Healing Rain" by Michael W. Smith was on K-Love Radio. I thought to myself "Thanks for the clarification God, because I was starting to wonder your method here..."
It reminded me of the story of the great Flood in Genesis Chapter 6-9.
Of this passage, Genesis 6:5-8 really stuck out too me:
(5) The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. (6) The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. (7) So the LORD said, "I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth—men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air—for I am grieved that I have made them." (8) But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.
It re-iterates to me that everyday, we all do things that don't please the Lord. It is in our nature, and that's just how it is. Even though God said later in Chapter 9 that He would never flood the Earth again, I still like to think of a good rainstorm as a "mini-flood" Not out of anger, but out of understanding, and God's willingness to forgive us for the things we do wrong. He is offering us a chance to cleanse every minute of the day, so that brings me to my previous question, If He offers us the opportunity to cleanse through the deliverance of a storm, why do we constantly run from it? Is it because we're afraid to get a little wet? Afraid to be a little cold?
This reminds me of a story of my first mission trip. Summer of 2007 I spent half a week with the youth group of Trinity United Methodist Church in Tuskegee, Alabama doing mission work on underprivileged homes. Every night after a long day's work, we would always have devotion and reflection time. One night in particular I remember very clearly. We spent about 3 hours in the living room of that Parsonage, just giving our hearts, and everything in them up to God. At the end, or at least when we declared it "The End" for the night, God thought otherwise. We all went outside on the porch and immediately started pouring down rain. I was a little skiddish at first at the fear of walking around soaking wet, but after a few of the girls ran out into the yard, I and the rest of the group succumbed to peer pressure and jumped right out there. We danced in the rain for the entire time it was raining. It was amazing the feeling I felt at that moment, and just as quickly as the moment began, it was over. Then that smell of a fresh rain quickly followed. "That was amazing" I thought to myself. But I didn't realize until sometime after that it wasn't just about running around crazy and dancing in the rain at almost midnight, it was about experiencing the Love of God through his many blessings, and being wet after a rainstorm kind of brought the idea of "Healing Rain" into a perspective that I could really understand.
Here's a closing thought, next time it rains and your outside, seize the opportunity to bathe yourself physically AND spiritually, and to remember He's there for you regardless of the circumstances. Think of that moment of being cold and wet as a "new beginning", a way to say "Thanks for the Healing Lord."