This afternoon after Maddy and I made a mad dash to the van in the rain, Maddy asked “Why is it raining?” Now, right now, this isn’t unusual. I hear the question “Why?” about 152 times a day. And my answer is usually just followed by another “Why?” But today was different. Today I told her that it was raining because God thought the flowers and trees needed more water to grow. And her answer this time was “Is that what happened to Daddy’s hair?” And I laughed out loud. And posted it on facebook. Maddy is always a little comedian, even when she doesn’t know it. She just made an observation, Daddy hadn’t cut his hair in awhile (since about the time he decided to grow out his beard, I blame Duck Dynasty).
But it was also different because it got me thinking. Ever have one of those days when God seems to use all kind of small things to get your attention? A conversation about rain with my daughter. Me getting way too frustrated about the fact that my umbrella wasn’t where I needed it to be. And this morning there was another conversation about water. As I walked into one of my patient’s rooms I overheard his conversation with his mom. They were in the room that has a mural of Noah’s Ark in it and his mom was explaining why there were two of each animal and why God sent the flood. All of these things had me thinking about water. We recently did a small group study written by our small group pastor Janice Wood entitled Elements, which looked at how God used each of the elements and how he was represented by them. So all this water got me thinking about what God was trying to say to me today.
There are numerous references to water in the Bible. Water gives and sustains life. Literally and figuratively. Water is used to represent cleansing of our lives and our souls. But the reference that God lead me to today is from the Old Testament. I don’t usually look to the Old Testament when I’m troubled, but I’ve been teaching it with our elementary kids at church. 1 Kings 8:35-36 says “When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because your people have sinned against you, and when they pray toward this place and give praise to your name and turn from their sin because you have afflicted them, then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel. Teach them the right way to live, and send rain on the land you gave your people for an inheritance.”
I’ve been in somewhat of a spiritual stalemate recently. Not really content with my relationship with God, but not really doing anything about it either. Sometimes I get so caught up in myself and my sin that I forget all I have to do is say “I’m sorry”. I let my humanity and my sin put a barrier between me and God. It’s not visible, and sometimes I don’t even realize it’s happening. But it’s there. And all I have to do is come before God and say “I’m sorry”. It’s that simple. Clean slate. Fresh start. But we get so caught up in our need to make amends, or prove ourselves to each other when we sin that we forget that with God it really is that simple. But I am revived by this verse. By the reminder that we all have the opportunity to repent and be renewed by God’s living water. By the hope and the joy that rain brings. God loves us. He provides for us. He cleanses us and makes us new. It kind of makes me want to run out and play in the rain just thinking about it.