Monday, October 31, 2011

Thristy? Open Wide and Drink In...

"...Jesus stood and said in a loud voice,
"If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink."
John 7:37

While in Oklahoma City this month, I passed by Lake Hefner, a very large body covering 2500 surface acres within the city limits. The view from the freeway made this California girl feel as though she was near the ocean. It has a nice sized marina and storage yard for sail boats but as far as I could see even though it was a very beautiful Sunday afternoon in October there were no boats on the lake. It wasn't until a few days later while walking along its shore that I would spot the problem.  Oklahoma experienced a severe drought with summer temperatures soaring to over 100 degrees for days on end. No break for a summer rain to refresh the land. Just searing heat and cloudless skies. Crops and cattle suffered. Trees died and their water reserves began to dry up. Lake Hefner got so low that boats could not be launched into its waters and the ones moored in the marina were all askew and sitting in the mud, useless and unable to move.
A good, long, soaking rain is what Oklahoma would need to make the pasture lands and trees grow again.  Rain is what they would need to refill the reservoirs and reestablish the places that once provided recreation and relaxation  We do not often think that 'rain' may be just what we need for rejuvenation and peace as we go through life at its hectic pace.

The subject of rain presents itself a few times in the Bible.  Most of us are very familiar with the rain of Noah's day, a ferocious destroyer of man and beast. We have also sung the Sunday School song that's lyrics talk of rain being a true test of 'good building' methods when it comes to where a wise man should to place his house-- on rock or sand. But there is one mention of rain that we should not overlook when it comes to our lives.

In Deuteronomy 32, it says, "Listen, O heavens, and I will speak; hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants."  [1, 2] What a beautiful picture of spring rain falling on plants waiting to drink in its life giving moisture.  God is instructing us to the words of my mouth" and drink them in expectantly to grow and live.

Isaiah 55 even presents us with a promise from God about his words he rains down on us-
As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it." [10-11]

Growing and flourishing, provision and satisfaction. God's word does its job and we can count on it.

Our part- Drink his word in like "abundant rain on tender plants". This reminds me of rainy days when my girls were small. When we heard that first pitter patter, we would run outside singing a song that went, " If rain drops were gum drop and lemon drops, oh, what a world this would be. I'd stand outside with my mouth open wide..." Then, we would turn our faces up to the sky with open mouths and catch the rain drops giggling all the while.

God tells at the beginning of Isaiah 55, "Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters...".  It goes on to say don't waste our time and money on what doesn't satisfy. "Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you..."  and that he has thought great thoughts about us. Greater than we can ever imagine. And he ends by promising, "You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands." [1, 3, 13] Yep, there IS something very sweet when God rains his Word on us. Don't let a 'drought' take over your life leaving you withered and dried up.  Rather, open your mouth wide and drink in, absorb, savor and enjoy the Word and all the goodness it has to offer.

"...but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." John 4:14