The last few days have been trying to say the least. God sure is answering my prayer to prune me. I am thinking now about how much I just want to be with Him. I used to think that people who said, "Jesus, hurry and bring your kingdom." were crazy. I thought,"I have not lived life yet and there are still things God promised me (I wanted) to do!" I considered how unfair of God to come back and interrupt my life. Yet, as I consider how this life must pale in comparison to the one to come, I realize how God is so much more just than I could ever imagine if he chose to interrupt my life by moving me on to the next.
I have been thinking about what it means to truly walk with God, in this life and what it might be like in the next. I just keep picturing a peaceful place. Like a distant island misted in rain-- but so beautiful! That is why if I am not careful I can make a functional heaven out of "vacation". But that is a different sermon for another day. Aside, if you are interested in this topic check out Pastor Mark Driscoll's sermon series Religion Saves.
Now back to my secluded island resplendent with cool beauty. Why do I picture it in the rain? I think because I feel so dry and scorched from the harsh brightness of the world that to picture it in the sun seems somehow wrong. Many times in the last few days I just want to give up. I am tired of trying and failing and trying and failing. I want to be where God promised me I would be but don't know how He is going to get me there. I picture the island today in a way that brings peace and joy to my weary soul mostly because God is there. He walks beside me as I smell the gentle rain coming I fear might ruin my otherwise "perfect" day at the beach. His hand holds mine when the thunder booms in the distance. His arm holds onto me as the lightning flashes come closer. The big drops of rain start splashing my face and hair and I forget about how wet my clothes will be. I hardly feel them anymore. All I know is that God is with me and surrounding me all at the same time. It is in this moment I realize, God is in the rain. I tip my head back as the water splashes my face and falls down over my lips so I taste the coolness of it. I begin to dance as I taste and feel and smell the goodness of God falling all around me. The sun starts to come out but only so I can see the rainbow in the sky reminding me that God will be with me and has been all along.
Though I am sure that this all sounds so sappy and maybe a little crazy to you, all this comes from the depth of my soul. I realize that the fruit that God wants me to bear is joy--deep, abiding joy, found only in Him. That is why I am not waiting for the storm to pass. I am learning to dance in the rain. Tonight I pray God sends me a sweet dream of the rain.
Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God for I will let praise him, my Savior, my God.
If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.