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Some Thoughts about Rain and Floods

Rainy season continues here in Bangkok and I'm tired of it. As much as I love the sound of a good storm and rain beating down on the roof, I'm weary of being woken up in the middle of the night with loud thunder while my apartment building shakes around me. And, then not being able to go back to sleep as I wonder if the streets will be canals again in the morning.

I'm weary of trying to figure out my plan of getting to work during a tropical downpour or in the flood it leaves behind. Even though my bicycle, Ole Reliable, does a pretty good job of getting me where I need to go, even Ole Reliable struggles when the floods reach knee level. Besides that, I don't like getting my feet wet on my way to work.

It's also a bit tricky to ride my bike as I try to see around my poncho hood or try to balance an umbrella over my head as I maneuver my way through the carts, cars, motorcycles and pedestrians. I'm ready to be done with praying that the lightning doesn't strike me as I ride Ole Reliable home late at night through the rain after a youth event.

I would be quite content to not hear the words rain or flooding for awhile.

So, I have to admit, when I heard a song at church on Sunday about rain and floods, I was not immediately drawn to it. It was not the image or illustration that I wanted to dwell on. I think Noah would agree that singing about floods after they have upended your life is not exactly what you want to do.

It was a new song to me. As the worship team led us, I did get drawn into the words. Here are the lyrics:

Hear the Word, roaring as thunder With a new, future to tell For the dry season is over There is a cloud, beginning to swell

To the skies, heavy with blessing Lift your eyes, offer your heart Jesus Christ, opened the Heavens Now we receive, the Spirit of God

We receive Your rain We receive Your rain

Every seed, buried in sorrow You will call, forth in its time You are Lord, Lord of the harvest Calling our hope, now to arise

We receive Your rain We receive Your rain We receive Your rain We receive Your rain

Like a flood, like a flood We receive Your love when You come Like a flood, like a flood We receive Your love when You come

Like a flood, like a flood We receive Your love when You come Like a flood, like a flood We receive Your love

And with great, anticipation We await, the Promise to come Everything, that You have spoken Will come to pass, let it be done (Oh, it shall be done) (Every dream, every word, every promise)

We receive Your rain We receive Your rain We receive Your rain We receive Your rain

Since I am not in a literal "dry season" right now, I had to go back in my memory to my childhood days growing up in Zimbabwe. I remember the long, dry months while we waited for rain. We did watch the horizon hoping to see a cloud.

Waiting for that cloud to swell.

The weather here in Bangkok is hot year-round but I have the privilege of working in an office with an air conditioner and living in an apartment that also has an air con. But growing up in Zimbabwe there was no air-conditioning. The days were sweltering as the heat built. As the rainy season got closer, the humidity also built and the heat was intense and miserable. Finally, the first rain would come.

After nine or ten months without seeing a drop from the sky, we would run outside with the first drops of rain.

Splashing in mud puddles.

Singing in the rain.

Lifting our faces to the sky while the rain drenched our clothes and hair.

Riding our bikes through the gullies as they filled up with water and became small creeks.

The raindrops from the sky met the needs and cries of the land and our hearts.

Relief poured down on a parched country and on our tired souls.

With this memory, I could relate to the lyrics and my heart could cry out for God's presence and His love to pour out on me.

These words of the song tenderly spoke to my heart:

"Every seed, buried in sorrow

You will call forth in its time

You are Lord, Lord of the harvest,

Calling our hope, now to arise."

I have had many seeds of hope buried in sorrow the last few years. God has been faithful and kind, but it has been a long and weary and hard road. Grief doesn't just pack up and leave one day. Instead, it raises its head over and over again reminding me of the losses in my life.

But I know a God of the harvest.

A good, good Father who knows how to bring life out of death.

His love is abundant.

His mercy pours down.

Everything He has spoken will come to pass.

In His showers of blessing there is joy.

That's the kind of flood where I don't mind getting my feet wet.

That's the kind of rain where I want to lift my head up to catch every drop.

The anticipation of that kind of flood is enough to revive a weary heart.

Come, Lord Jesus, come.

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