LISTENING FOR SOOTHING RAIN
Let’s strive to know the Lord.
His appearance is as sure as the dawn.
He will come to us like the rain,
like the spring showers that water the land.
This edition of Oasis of Hope is all about listening for soothing rain in the midst of our struggles. Our ears long to hear some sprinkles of hope in the pain of our illnesses and feelings of overwhelm. We listen for refreshment in a desert of seemingly unending problems. There is also a kind of listening that brings those first rays of light to help mend broken relationships. And as we read or listen to God’s word, it can soothe our parched souls with refreshing raindrops of hope.
The rain and snow come down from the heavens
and stay on the ground to water the earth.
They cause the grain to grow,
producing seed for the farmer
and bread for the hungry.
It is the same with my word.
I send it out, and it always produces fruit.
It will accomplish all I want it to,
and it will prosper everywhere I send it.
(Isaiah 55:10-11 NLT)
LISTENING FOR THE RAIN
Relief doesn’t necessarily come instantly as we begin to train our ears to listen. It can often take hard work just to come to the point where we are ready to listen. Or perhaps we try to listen, but relief only comes in like little droplets of rain, and we feel like giving up.
Maybe you’ve been in a desert season so long that you don’t hear those first sprinkles of refreshment. Or maybe you’ve listened for so long that all you hear is a steady rain that just drowns out anything else. Perhaps you are experiencing such a difficult storm that you use all your strength to fight it. As thunder booms and lightning flashes, you quickly run for cover. Somehow this kind of rain is not soothing at all. You long for the refreshment of a gentle shower.
One day the worries and cares of earth will pass, and we will be with our Savior forever. There will be no more pain, illness or sin to cloud our way. We will all be free.
But what about now?
Easter has come and gone, but just as the rains of April bring flowers in May, the message of Easter Resurrection will continually give us hope. Jesus, who is God and man, is that hope. He is the bread of life and the light of the world. And because of His resurrection, we have new life in Him. We can listen for His soothing rain to refresh our parched souls.
This hope is not just for the future. We can have a measure of relief and refreshment right now in the middle of the daily struggles we face. The articles collected in this edition of Oasis of Hope show us how we can find peace and some of that relief for which we long.
WAYS TO LISTEN FOR THE RAIN
First, in our prayer prompt, Listening to the Falling Rain, Bettie Gilbert invites us to listen to the falling rain of God’s word. She shares: In the dry and thirsty places of our lives, God wants to bring us to a place of gentle teaching, like a slow stream of raindrops. But He doesn’t want us to stay in that place of slow trickling. She includes a poem and a prayer along with some reflection questions to help you get started.
Next, join Dan Snyder with Desert Rain • Living Water in Unexpected Places, as he tells how he felt like he was in a desert for 40 years. Family illness, searching for jobs to pay the bills, feeling like he had no roots are just some of the struggles he and his family have had to face. Yet through all those struggles he finds unbounding gratitude and strength in the grace of God.
For our poetry post, Listen to the Melody in the Pain • Draw Strength from God, Karin Fendick shares a beautiful, heartfelt poem, inviting us to listen to the melody in the pain and see where we can find strength in the Lord. It is a treat to hear her voice reading the poem.
Also included is a post on marriage. Sometimes marriages also go through seasons where couples seem to slowly drift apart, almost to the point of no return. Listening plays a big part in discovering ways to heal the relationship. In Celebrating Marriage Even in the Struggle, Cindee Snider Re recognizes the difficulties and gives a peek into her life. She shares how with hard work and strength and grace from God, a marriage can be redeemed. It’s a beautiful story of hope.
IN THIS ISSUE
In this issue of Oasis of Hope, we discover hope, peace, grace and strength in weakness as we explore the idea of listening for soothing rain.
Listening to the Falling Rain • Devotional
Is it possible to pause in the middle of our heavy-laden and pain-filled prayers to listen? Consider how you might listen – without effort – to the falling rain. In the dry and thirsty places of our lives, God wants to bring us to a place of gentle teaching, like a slow stream of raindrops. But He doesn’t want us to stay in that place of slow trickling.
Desert Rain • Living Water in Unexpected Places
I haven’t written in a very long time, but when I did, I referenced my favorite book in the Bible as 2 Corinthians. There, Paul encourages readers that God’s grace is always sufficient, and His power is strengthened in weakness. When I feel the desert rain, I will understand it is the watering of a rooting soul at peace.
Celebrating Marriage Even in the Struggle
To redeem means to buy back, to free from what harms or distresses, to renew. My husband and I have found our way back to each other. Our circumstances haven’t changed. But we talk and we laugh. We lean in when the winds rise and the waves roll. We hold hands and pray. Celebrating marriage can be hard. But we’re learning to celebrate – even in the struggle.