Posted by: Rex Boyles | April 9, 2008

“April Showers”

I woke up early this morning to the sound of rain on my window.

These thoughts came to mind almost immediately …

The first – Mother must have prayed for rain. (I know she did, because on Sunday at the OPEN, she asked all to pray for rain.) For all of my life, my mother has been a worthy example of prayer. She insisted that we pray at every meal … that we pray (and read our Bibles) at bedtime before we went to sleep … that we bow our heads “in church” and not peek during the prayers (wonder how she would know if we did – but of course, I didnt.:) She did not just teach me the “mechanics” of prayer; she taught me to pray with confidence – as if I was talking to her or my dad … to pray in faith – believing that God was not only listening but working everything out for good … to pray for specifics – explaining to God just what I wanted and why (for everything from my runaway puppy to my dying grandmother … and even for rain).

The next – this would be a great day to sleep late – take off work – stay at home. All of my “growing up” years were spent on a farm. Like everyone raised on a farm, we had our daily chores … feeding pigs, horses, cows, chickens, dogs, and one onery billy goat. During the spring and summer, chores turned into jobs – all day jobs – hoeing cotton – changing pipe – driving tractors. But on the days that it rained … you didn’t have to get up early. You got to sleep late and stay at home – instead of going to the field. I loved hearing the rain on my window. Still do.

But for most of this day I have been thinking about how God refreshes and restores …

He refreshed this dry parcel of our world with this spring rain … especially with this one. (It has been a long cold dry winter.) But he also refreshes and restores the hearts of those who have withered under the heat of their own guilt or the guilt of others … of those who have dried out due to the lack of love and affection from family or friends … of those who have all but given up on life, because it just seems too hard.

I have known something of the guilt that withers your hope.

I have known something of the loneliness that dries up your heart. 

I have known something of the desperation that resigns oneself to death.

But I have also known (and now live in) the seasons of refreshing that come from the Lord …

Seen printed in my Bible – His Word in red letters, “… neither do I condemn you …” 

Heard whispered in my ear, “I am not ashamed of you.” 

Felt on my face, as her hands lifted my head to look into her eyes.

Smelled and tasted from my place at the dinner table at home, eating all of my home-cooked favorites, “I am so glad you are home.”

Reminded by every accepting hug … every encouraging note … every secret gift … every sincere prayer … every inclusive conversation … every personal invitation … every concerned call … every protective challenge … every needed counsel.

Realized at the OPEN with sinners like me, who all long for seasons of refreshing from the Lord.   

“I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.”

(Jeremiah 31:25; NIV)

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