Have you ever found yourself caught out in the rain? During one of our recent deluges, I took note that the sky was dark, and that rain was imminent. However, I made the fatal mistake most men would make. I thought I could get out of the car, run my errand, and be back before it started. All of this, of course, without my umbrella. Fate was not that kind to me. As I stood there trying to decide whether or not to run, several things went through my mind. Would I be struck by lightning? Would I slip and fall on the wet pavement with dress shoes on? Just how bad would it mess my hair up? There are just some things we can’t risk embarrassment in. Nevertheless, as I stood there debating, I took notice of some scenes that captivated my heart and attention. There is something special that occurs in a life that gets caught out in the rain.
This moment reminded me of the unfolding drama found in Mark 6. Jesus had just miraculously fed over 5,000 people. The day had been long and the disciples were tired. Jesus then urged the disciples to enter into a ship on the sea of Galilee and cross over unto Bethsaida while He ascended up a mountain to pray. Without warning or notice, the disciples were caught in a life-threatening storm. There were no umbrellas, no meteorologists, and no visible sign of Jesus. Like a parent preparing a child to navigate life for themselves, Jesus stands secretly in the shadows of their darkness. Who could discern if the wetness on His face that night was from the raindrops or the tears? He purposely left them alone in the storm that their eyes could see things they would
never see in the calm. Sudden, unexpected rains bring blessings most overlook.
Rains will clearly expose. Have you ever given thought to how level a baseball field and a paved parking lot appear…until it rains. The rain exposes the low places! The disciples had just witnessed a marvelous miracle which should have increased their faith. Tragically, their faith still had low places that only a rain could expose. Should you and I not have the low places exposed in our lives, we will be subject to repeatedly stepping into puddled waters, and slipping in embarrassment. Knowing where to step and what to avoid is key to consistent Christian living.
Rains will cultivate exploration. When we are caught out in the rain, we will seek shelter in places we otherwise would have never gone. The picture being painted here of the disciples is one of working tirelessly without success to raise and lower the sails as the winds were swirling and changing. Sadly enough, we are told Jesus “would have passed by them.” How many times have we been so consumed in our efforts to adjust and manipulate our sails to avoid the rain, that we simply miss Jesus in the process? The encouraging fact, however, is that without the rain, Peter never makes the discovery of protective shelter in a most unexpected place…outside the boat ON a raging sea! You and I can find Jesus in some interesting places, but only after the raindrops have cleared the polluted air of our soul.
Rains will create expansion. During the rain, the disciples “..all saw Him..” After the rain, the entire crowd “..knew Him.” There is growth that occurs when it rains. I find it quite interesting that some people can water their grass for weeks on end and still not accomplish what a single rain can do. Heaven sent rains clear a place in the soil of our heart, and opens the petals of the Rose of Sharon for public display. Without the rains of God, our lives are merely barren deserts with a heat blown tumbleweed as the only sign of spiritual life.
When was the last time you ran like a child uncovered, uninhibited, and unyielding in the rain? It is as though the Lord has poured Himself all over our being. Oh, how different the perspective is under a heavenly downpour. The longer the rain falls, the greater the chance exists that a stream will form. I want to drink, walk, swim in His waters. Let it rain on me.
© Alan Stewart, 2005.
Alan Stewart: Dr. Alan Stewart has served as Senior Pastor of Rechoboth Baptist since December 1999. He attended The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Moody Bible Institute, Covington Theological Seminary, and Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary.
Prior to pastoring the Tennessee church, Alan was an evangelist for 15 years. He has preached revivals/pastor’s conferences in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland. He also preached crusades/conferences in India, Hungary, and conducted a crusade in South Africa in August of 2009. Pastor Alan is married to Jeanne, and they are blessed with two children – Sierra and Seth.