rain, rain, go away…

The rain here in Houston just keeps coming.  Yesterday, school was cancelled as sections of major highways were submerged in water.  My children spent the morning wanting to watch the news.  They were enthralled by the extreme nature and power of the water, the drama of high-water rescues caught on tape, the tragedy of cars being swept away in the floods, and the science of meteorological forecasts.  Our hearts ache for those in Wimberley, San Marcos, and Houston.  Those who have lost much in the wake of such abundant rainfall.

This morning, a sideways downpour met us as we raced to the car for school.  It’s ironic that yesterday when multiple school districts were closed, we had dry patches of back porch.  This morning, as we drove to school, we were pelted by torrential rains.

How odd is the abundance of a good thing.  Rain becomes flood.  Hydration becomes destruction.  Sugar turns to fat.  Wine becomes alcoholism.  Appetite shifts to gluttony.  Money fuels greed.  Job provision develops into family neglect.  Ministry births idolatry.

How odd also when the abundance of a good thing has been present, yet the back porch seems dry.  There have been entire seasons when others around me are drowning in the same blessings being poured out on me, yet all I see is dry bones.  Perception can be quite the deception.  Have you ever been so blind to a plethora of grace-filled showers that you actually pray for the rain to go away?  We, who are so small compared to the vastness of the universe and the Being who by a single word bore all we know and see…we who think we know, but have no clue.  We think we can define blessing and curse, based on the wisdom drawn from the state of our comforts or the lack thereof.  What if that which was brutally irritating provided a path to the deepest peace?  What if that which depleted earthly provision sanctified and produced the fullest satisfaction?

I’ve written before of God’s abundant grace and how we never arrive at a place where we render it useless.  It is free, unending, and always available, whether we seek it out or not.  We are covered by its huge umbrella of acceptance, that knows no distinction and can’t be held by our good works.  This I know.  However, as I mentioned above, there is so much that I do not know, understand, or comprehend.  If there is one thing that I will never have enough of, it’s God’s perspective.  It is the one thing that won’t turn in on itself:  Godly wisdom.  For to see the world and our circumstances through God’s eyes requires humility, compassion, justice, and a servant heart.  Idolatry defies God’s perspective.  He detests the worship of anything other than Himself.

I want this: His perspective.  With it, there is nothing to fear, nothing to solve, nothing that can steal my joy or His throne.  How do I find it?  Unlike grace, Scripture tells me that wisdom requires a bit of my action:

“Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding” (Proverbs 3:13).

“The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight” (Proverbs 4:7).

The Hebrew word “qə·nêh” is used in these verses for “get”.  The same word is used when Scripture talks about buying or acquiring land.  It is a word of action, involving sacrifice or payment.  Do I really want to “get” wisdom?  What if it costs something of sacrifice?  What if it’s price is uncomfortable?

Proverbs 9:10 also explains that, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.”  Maybe today the price to be paid is accepting the fact that I am small, finite, and foolish compared to the size, longevity, and wisdom of God.  Maybe today, I simply stand in awe of Him, this world He created, the power of the raging water before me.  In recognizing my smallness and His largeness, I will begin to “get” some wisdom with the sacrifice of my pride.

I want to shout, “rain, rain, go away…”.  Yet, I will watch in awe, and submit that I don’t know the condition and needs of my own back porch.  And I will let Jesus and His compassion overtake me as I see the needs of others unfold.

I continue to pray for those who are meeting disaster and destruction head on.  Please pray with me.  If you are able to financially help or donate goods, please visit ADRN (Austin Disaster Relief Network) which is gathering funds to help those in Wimberley and San Marcos, not only with their physical needs, but spiritual and emotional as well.

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