For the past five years, Texas has been in a drought.
The Lone-star state was a dry and thirsty land and it needed some good ol’ fashioned RAIN. In the past two months, Texas has received more rainfall than it does in an entire year. An ENTIRE YEAR. I’d say God went above and beyond with this one! Lakes that have been low for the past 5 years have filled completely, some to overflowing.
My biggest complaint about the great state of Texas isn’t the phrase “might-could” (Huh?) or that people wear actual spurs to the grocery store (couldn’t slip on some flip-flops for your trip down the dairy isle?) – it is the dry, dead landscape come July. Being a midwestern girl who loves the seasons, I was ecstatic when I saw the forecast filled with clouds! It gave me hope that there may be enough rain this spring that the entire state of Texas would be a beautiful green hue ’til fall arrived.
Then week 3 of rain came…
and week 4…
and week 5…
I jokingly told God, “Thanks for the answered prayer, but isn’t this a little excessive?”
When it rains, there is now a standing lake in my back yard.
While gazing out my kitchen window, lamenting the rising waters, I noticed something new: all the rain had reshaped my yard. From the back corner of my lot there is a small river that now flows when the rain comes. It completely washes over and under the concrete retaining wall built specifically to keep rainwater in check, rushes to the middle of my yard, turns along the winding sidewalk, and pours into my side yard.
The rain was causing a continual redefining of my property.
In Christian circles, the power and blessing of God is often referred to as “rain.”
God’s rain refreshes us, sustains us, and brings life. When we pray for rain from God, we typically have in mind what amount we want and in what path we would like it to flow-
“God, please let it rain in my love life. Let me find the man you want me to marry.”
“Lord, I really need more money. Please rain on my finances so I can pay my bills.”
“Jesus, I want more of you. Rain your presence in my life.”
Then we sit with our rain gauge and wait for the water to come.
“Yes, God, right to the 2 inch marker… Perfect!”
But what happens when the power of God shows up in such a way that the gauge is overflowing and pouring over the sides? When He gives you more than you can handle and the rain begins to make its way into areas of your heart that are typically off-limits to His power and influence, what do you do?
When the rain doesn’t stop and it becomes a flood, how to you react?
When God’s rain pours, it does more than just satisfy our parched soul- it transforms it into something different altogether.
We try to contain the blessings and lessons of God in pretty, organized gutters, catching the rain drops and carefully guiding the tiny stream to the dry spaces. When we pray for God to bring the rain, we want to be in charge of the amount, but God wants to bring a flood. He wants to destroy and break away what has been established in your heart to keep Him in check. His water barrels over boundaries and rushes into things we never intended to get wet! When the flood rains come, your “normal” is wrecked as the water begins to wash away all the walls you have built and comes crashing into your space with a vengeance:
Your pride is broken.
Your intellect is challenged.
Your typical T.V. shows just don’t seem as fun or interesting.
You can’t sleep because God wakes you in the middle of the night to pray for specific things and people.
You are more convicted, more aware of His grace, more emotional, more passionate about your calling.
God’s flood redefines the landscape of your heart.
When I really search my heart, really seek after the life I want to experience, I find I don’t just want God’s rain-
I want His flood.
I don’t want small and manageable- I want a torrential downpour of Him!
…And when I am trying to hold all my walls in place while keeping my head above the waves, I pray I let go and let Him create a new landscape. I want my life to be so overtaken by His flood that the terrain of my life is totally transformed.
It can be a scary thing, to face a flood and the change it brings, but I dare you to be brave.
Erica, this speaks so loud and clear to me. God has been pouring over me the last few weeks, literally changing the landscape of my heart, bringing down walls that I have built up for years from a past abusive relationship. It can be horrible and ugly how these things are brought to light, not realizing just how big of a problem they have been. But what Satan meant to harm, God will use for HIS good! The image of that washed out road are the walls in my heart that are crashing down. Powerful imagery for me! Thank you for sharing your insight today.
Erica Willis says
I’m so glad, Gretchen! I feel the same way- it can be painful to let God into the stuff we have guarded for so lone, but He turns it into something beautiful! Glad this spoke to you like it did me <3
Reneé Dresser says
Giiiiirrlllll! Do you think Pastor Scott read this post last week before writing yesterday’s sermon?! 😉 J/K, but sheeeesh!!! I love it when God speaks the same message through different people and avenues in a concentrated amount of time! Great word! Also, as I let this song “wash” over me again last night for the upteenth time, it reminded me of this post! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBTrD769vFI
Erica Willis says
Renee- Isn’t it cool how God just keeps hitting us with the same message over and over until we “get” it?! Love love love it!
What a wonderful post and absolutely the truth! I just signed up for your next group of #theFives starting at the end of August and I am so excited to see what God has in store. You have been blessed with the gift of writing and I’m looking forward to following your blog.
Erica Willis says
Thanks, Danielle! I can’t wait to spend some time in prayer with you this next session! I know God is going to do some great things when you seek Him first! <3
I just love this post. ? I love how Holy Spirit also represents water ?and how God uses Him to rise us clean. bring on the flood?— and I’m not building an Ark (well unless the Lord says too ?).
Erica Willis says
I agree! Bring on the rain!!