Last night while driving a bus-load of kids home from Taekwondo I watched the sun crown the trees with the last of its golden rays, just before disappearing below the horizon, leaving an orangy-pink sky in its wake. I caught my breath as I alerted my young passengers to the scene, “don’t miss this!” I hollered over their chatter. They stopped talking for one half-beat of a second and one of them said,
“yeah, I saw that yesterday.”
Shaking my head, I turned my thoughts inside to continue to marvel at what a beautiful thing it is to see the colorful and active hand of God on display. “no two sunsets are alike.” I reminded them.
But they were already lost again in their own conversations.
Earlier that afternoon as I was thinking about the upcoming launch of my Advent book, Come, Lord Jesus, an image had come to mind–a single thread being pulled from a seam of fabric.
An undoing. An opening.
This is one of the fullest Fall seasons we have experienced here. Our schedule bulges with activity and responsibility. Homeschooling requires more time and attention now than ever. There’s a Retreat, a book, and regular life. Balancing all of the things feels like two full-time jobs crammed into 24 hour days, and if I’m not careful, I will forsake the gifts, calling it all, not-enough. I saw the seam unraveling.
It was clearly a vision.
In the season of rain, pray for rain. That’s what Zechariah wrote (10:1). Ask in faith and expect that God will pour out on you, the very thing you need to be productive, the very thing you need to bear fruit.
The rain falling around me here is figurative–not actual rain but blessing upon blessing, if only I will open my eyes to it. If only I will see the brilliance of the sunset and not dismiss it as something I already know. The seam opening is not an ominous unraveling here, but a hopeful opening of a new season. A rainy season in which prayers are being answered, and more rain falls.
Some seasons are seasons of quiet obedience. Some of the mightiest works of God are hidden inside of a life, tender seed-gifts buried in the dark hopeful earth of the heart until the rainy season comes. In these days you are being planted. Tended. Nurtured for the next season, the season of harvest. Prepared for the bearing of fruit.
In the season of rain, pray for rain.
Ask in faith. Believe that God is the good gardener, who knows exactly what is needed to bring forth the harvest of His own intent.
Notice the sunset. See His work and worship Him for the beautiful masterpiece he paints in your life, day after day. Even when the canvas looks familiar. Even when the colors are less spectacular, more muted–uninspiring, even. Especially when there is so much gray.
The gray is the gathering of rain clouds, the building up of the blessing. Rain is coming.
After the dismissal of the sunset, as we made our way across a bridge, one of the kids looked out over the silver water and asked in all seriousness if there are sharks in the creek.
No sharks, I reply. Just fish and maybe some water snakes.
Someone in the back seat asks about electric eels–are they in the creek?
We all chuckle. No–no electric eels. but just like that, the conversation turns. At the mention of animals with electric capabilities in their bodies we spin off into the wonder of creation. How many amazing things share this earth with us? How many incredible creatures team beneath the slow lapping waves of creeks and oceans of immeasurable depths?
The same people bored minutes earlier by another glowing sunset suddenly snap-to with lively conversation about how on earth the Creator of all things imagined electric eels, goblin sharks, the ostrich, and porcupines. And what about the Tyrannosaurus rex?
Again I see the thread being pulled intentionally from the seam. An opening. An invitation. What we risk losing in the midst of our own conversations, steeped in our own distraction, is the rain that begins to fall. The showers of blessing that tumble down from heaven in their season.
We forget to marvel, to praise, to take our shoes off and step into the puddle of grace and splash wild for however long the season lasts.
The gray you see today holds the bulging rain that is coming. Marvel at the sunset. Wonder about the creativity of creation. In the season of rain, ask for rain. Hope for it. Wait for it.