Tag Archives: rain

Times Of Rain

Throwback Thursday is a new feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other writing ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.

Rain is something we need, but don’t really want. We’ve given it a negative connotation too. It started when we were children singing the song, “Rain, Rain, go away. Come again another day.” Rain disrupts the times of sunshine and happiness that we feel. When it’s rainy outside, we say it’s gloomy. We think of the gray clouds and associate them with depression. Rain changes our path, our timing and our plans. It messes things up for us so we resist it. We forget that rain is a necessary part of life. We forget all the good that it does.

I’ve got several friends right now who are experiencing rain in their lives. Several friends have had loved ones pass away unexpectedly. I’ve got a couple of friends who can’t seem to find a job. I’ve got a few friends whose lives have been turned upside down because of choices their spouse made. For them, it seems like the rain just keeps coming. It feels like their lives are being flooded with only negative things. As I’ve thought about all their situations, Matthew 5:45 came to mind. It says, “It rains on the just and the unjust.”

I’ve read or heard that scripture my whole life. I was always under the impression that it meant that bad things happen to Christians and non Christians alike because I associated rain with bad times. When I read it in context and then in several versions and interpretations of the original Greek, the Message Bible stood out. It said, “This is what God does. He gives His best – the sun to warm and the rain to nourish – to everyone regardless.” The times of rain in our lives are meant to nourish us. Just like our yards, lakes and crops need rain for nourishment, so do our lives. 

When bad things happen, it usually pushes us closer go God. We spend more time in prayer. We take the time to talk to God and to read His Word to try to find answers. Days of sunshine rarely push us to spend time with God, but rain does. When we go a long time without rain or without spending time with a God, we go through a drought and that isn’t healthy. If you’re going through times of rain in your life right now, don’t pray for it to go away. Instead thank God for the nourishment and for the shelter He provides

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Umbrella Of Praise

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Have you ever just allowed your mind to worry? I’m sure you’ve been there where your every thought is consumed by all the possibilities. You replay the scenario in your mind over and over again until you can’t think of any good outcomes. Your heart rate goes up. Your stress increases. You get that feeling in the middle of your chest that something’s not right. Your sleep then gets affected and your exhausted because you’re mentally drained. It happens to the best of us, but it doesn’t have to. We don’t have to let worry consume our mind and lives. There’s a better way.

Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers…Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” Worry takes a lot of energy. It takes a lot of time and effort too. God would rather we spend that time, energy and effort in prayer. That’s what David did when he worried. He spent a lot of time in dark caves hiding from people who wanted to kill him. His mind would wander in the darkness and worry would creep in.

It was in the darkness of those caves in the stress of worry that he wrote so many Psalms. We like to think of him as the giant slayer, but he was also a worrier. Writing the Psalms helped him channel that worry into prayer and praise. When we worry, we take control of the situation that we have no control over. When we pray, we give God control of the situation that He already knows the outcome of. If we can learn to hand that off on prayer, we can displace a lot of worry in our life and use the energy for productive things.

The scripture also said to let petitions and praise shape our worries into prayers. I’ve found that when I’m most stressed, most worried and most consumed with a problem that I need to break away and spend time listening to Praise and Worship music. When I begin to praise God and worship Him, I invite His presence into my situation. I invoke all of Heaven’s authority to come stand by my side and fight on my behalf. I’m then surrounded by God’s peaceful presence because He dwells in the praises of His people. When that peace comes over me, I begin to see the battle is not mine, but His.

Worry doesn’t change my situation, prayer does because it moves the hand of God. Worry leaves me empty and broken, but God’s presence makes me whole. Worry sees every negative outcome in a situation, but praise sees everything working together for my good. The choice is ours. I personally like the outcome of prayer and praise than worry and fret. If you’re caught in that storm of negative thoughts, put up an umbrella of prayer and praise today and let the peace of God that passes all understanding come and rule in your heart and mind. Leave worry behind. Give it to the One who already knows what’s going to happen and is in control. It’s a wonderful feeling when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

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Times Of Rain

Rain is something we need, but don’t really want. We associate it with bad. It started when we were children singing the song, “Rain, Rain, go away. Come again another day.” Rain disrupts the times of sunshine and happiness. When it’s rainy outside, we say it’s gloomy. We think of the gray clouds and we think of depression. It changes our path, our timing and our plans. It messes things up for us so we resist it. We forget that rain is a necessary part of life. We forget the good that it does.

I’ve got several friends right now who are experiencing rain in their lives. Several friends have had loved ones pass away unexpectedly. I’ve got a couple of friends who can’t seem to find a job. I’ve got a few friends whose lives have been turned upside down because of choices their spouse made. For them, it seems like the rain just keeps coming. It feels like their lives are being flooded with negative things. Matthew 5:45 came to mind. It says, “It rains on the just and the unjust.”

I’ve read or heard that scripture my whole life. I was always under the impression that it just meant that bad things happen to Christians and non Christians alike because I associated rain with bad times. When I read it in context and then in several versions and interpretations of the original Greek, the Message Bible stood out. It said, “This is what God does. He gives His best – the sun to warm and the rain to nourish – to everyone regardless.” The times of rain in our lives are meant to nourish us. Just like our yards, lakes and crops need rain for nourishment, so do our lives.

When bad things happen, it usually pushes us closer go God. We spend more time in prayer. We take the time to talk to God and to read His Word to try to find answers. Days of sunshine rarely push us to spend time with God. When we go so long without rain or without spending time with a God, we enter a desert. God knows that we need rain. Of course, with lots of rain, it starts to flood. Jesus told a parable about that. He said the wise man built his house upon the rock so that when the rains came down and the floods went up, his house would stand firm.

What’s your house built on? The one way to test it is with lots of rain. If your faith erodes when the floods come, you’ve built your house on sand. The good news is that of that’s the case, God is there to help you rebuild your life after laying a firm foundation. If the floods came and have damaged your house, but your foundation is firm, God will be there when the rain leaves to help you make repairs. Either way, the rain should drive you closer to God and nourish your spirit. Times of rain are painful, but needed. Don’t run from them.

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Pray Like Rain

Last night I got to hear Doug Stringer from “Somebody Cares International” preach. One of the things he said really stood out to me. He said, “Prayer is the rain in our lives.” It’s what waters the seeds we’ve planted. It’s what makes things grow. I loved this analogy because so many of us plant seeds in our lives or into the lives of others and wonder why they don’t grow.

To me, he answered the question. We don’t water them enough with prayer. Planting a seed is not enough. If it is not watered by you or someone else, how can it grow? I Corinthians 3:7 says, “It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow.” It’s our prayers that water it and move God to grow it.

In my personal life, I’m not a big fan of rain. When I wake up in the morning and hear rain, I know immediately that 30 minutes just got added to my commute. Rain creates traffic. It also creates the beautiful flowers we see each Spring. We have a saying, “April showers bring May flowers.” We endure the rainy season to enjoy the beauty of Spring. So it is in the spiritual realm.

The rain from our prayers create traffic. I don’t mind spiritual traffic though. Traffic is a sign that things are moving. Things are happening. That kind of thing gets me excited. Spiritual rain also causes the seeds in our lives to grow and produce fragrant flowers in our lives or in the lives of others. The difference is we create the rainy season. If we aren’t experiencing many flowers or growth, chances are we haven’t been creating rain through prayer.

Things don’t just happen because we were faithful to plant seeds. We must pray through that season to make things grow. We read in Daniel 10 where Daniel needed an answer from God. When things didn’t happen, he didn’t quit praying. Instead, he prayed more. He prayed for 3 weeks for this one answer. Finally an angel showed up in verse 12 and said, “Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in Heaven. I have come to answer your prayer.”

Just like if you were planting a garden, you can’t plant the seeds and water it once. You have to keep watering them daily, even when you see the sprouts come up. You keep watering until you receive the harvest. If you stop any time before then, you run the risk of no harvest or a small harvest. Seeing growth should encourage us to pray even more, but for some reason it has the opposite effect. We see growth and think we can stop praying, but we can’t.

Today, I want to encourage you to keep praying even if you haven’t seen growth yet. Who knows what battles in the spiritual realm that God is fighting just to get that seed to sprout. Just because it hasn’t broken the surface yet doesn’t mean it isn’t growing or God isn’t moving. Keep watering it with prayer. And when you start to see the results of your prayer, keep watering until you get your harvest. Then, start the cycle again. May you never leave a rainy season in your life and always see your seeds grow!

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Lord Help!

I love Psalm 107. It talks about people in all kinds of situations and were all at the end of their ropes. He talks of those who were wandering aimlessly, those who were hungry, those who were having difficult times that caused them to live in darkness and gloom, those who have turned from God and rebelled, and those who were enduring a storm longer than they thought it would last. In each case, the people cried out, “Lord help!” And He came to the rescue.

In their cases and in most of our cases, we wait until it is an act of desperation to call out to God. It must be the way he hard wired us. We try to do everything on our own and in our own strength. I’m the first to admit that I’m the same way. I don’t think it’s so I get the glory and not Him. It’s more of an “I can do this” attitude. I don’t need anyone’s help. I got myself in this mess and I’ll get myself out.

Meanwhile, God is patiently waiting for us to call out, “Lord help!” He wants to rescue us. He wants to deliver us. We say, “the Lord is my shepherd,” but we don’t let Him shepherd us. We don’t let Him lead us to the still waters or the green pastures. When we go our own way and fall into distress, He is there looking for us to lead us back to safety. He’s not content to leave us in our situation simply because we’re headstrong and moved away from the pack.

What I’ve never understood about God is how He continues to love me no matter how far or often I move away from the heard. It’s a love I don’t deserve. None of us do. We all do things that get us in the situations listed in this Psalm. There also times where life just happens. There’s nothing we can do about it and don’t feel like we deserve it. Even in those times we have a choice. We can either have a pity party while life continues to rain on us or we can cry out, “Lord help!”

Psalm 145:8 says, “The Lord is close to all who call on Him.” He is waiting for us to call on Him. We often think we’re too far away from Him or done so much that we can never go back. I’ve been there. I was embarrassed and didn’t want to deal with facing those whom I thought I had let down. When I was near my lowest a friend said, “Boy, what are you doing? You need to get your butt back in that church where people know you and love you!” I gave every excuse I could as to why I couldn’t, but none were good enough.

Don’t let pride stand in your way of calling out for the Lord’s help today. Don’t make excuses why you can’t go home. His ear is listening for your voice. His eyes are searching all over for you. Jesus said that He would leave the 99 to find just one. You. You mean the world to Him. Don’t delay. Cry out today, “Lord help!” I promise you that He will come running to you. He will save you and rescue you.

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