The word for southern California this weekend is rain. Rain, rain, and lots of rain.
Though the news was harmful for a few people in vulnerable areas susceptible to flooding and mud slides, to the vast majority, this was sweet.
This was manna from heaven — drought-breaking extravagance forming pools and puddles and virtual rivers down the street. It means snowpack in the mountains that will melt off in the spring and fill up the sparse reservoirs.
We’ve been conserving water for so long that to see it rushing headlong to the ocean seems like a luxury we can well nigh afford. Stop that somehow; it’s liquid gold running down the gutter! What clown left his sprinklers on? What a waste! You’re not even watering on the right day; it’s supposed to be Mondays and Thursdays! It’s been so long, you can’t help but have some of these feelings. We’ve been living a parched earth existence since before I can remember; I don’t know what it’s like to run guilt-free sprinklers.
I’ve always thought rain was a tangible expression of God’s grace. It comes from heaven; it comes whenever God wants it to; it is outside our control. In most instances with the exception of deluges, it comes down softly and it covers everything. It washes into corners long overlooked and finds places we didn’t even know existed. It can be gentle; it can sweep you up in a current; it can strand you in the oddest places; it can alter your plans.
Most of all, it makes things grow. It turns hillsides green and brings crops to harvest. It brings life. In large quantities it can bring death. It’s not to be trifled with.
In the Bible, rain is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. The “Latter Rain” is a biblical expression of the outpouring of the Spirit of God in the last days. When God rains on you, soak it in. It’s His grace.
But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. (Matthew 5:44-46)
You and me and rain on the roof
Caught up in a summer shower
Drying while it soaks the flowers
Maybe we’ll be caught for hours
Waiting out the sun
– John Sebastian