By: Carole L. Haines
I think rain is one of the most beautiful sounds in the world, especially after a long, dry wearying Heat Wave. That is what we have had here where I live for the entire month of July. But August has come in like a refreshing touch of God. It has been raining for 2 days and I love it. The sound, the feel, the scent of rain bring joy deep down into my soul.
“Therefore, repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.” (Acts 3:19)
We don’t often associate repentance with refreshing, but God does. Often in His Word He calls us to repentance with the promise of restoration.
15 For thus the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has said,
“In repentance and rest you will be saved,
In quietness and trust is your strength.”
But you were not willing…
18 Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you,
And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you.
For the Lord is a God of justice;
How blessed are all those who long for Him…
19 O people in Zion, inhabitant in Jerusalem, you will weep no longer. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when He hears it, He will answer you. 20 Although the Lord has given you bread of privation and water of oppression, He, your Teacher will no longer hide Himself, but your eyes will behold your Teacher. 21 Your ears will hear a word behind you, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left. (Isiah 30: 15, 18-21)
We are called here to quietness and trust in the Lord, but we were NOT willing. I read a quote about willingness that I found so poignant yesterday,
“It has been said that willingness is the key that goes into the lock and opens the door that allows God to begin to remove your character defects.” (Getting right with God, yourself, and others. By: John Baker)
My soul cries out for transformation, for restoration, for times of refreshing to come from the Lord. Sometimes our dry and weary land is there because of choices we have made. Sometimes it’s the choices that others have made regarding us. Most of us would admit that’s it’s been both. But either way, we need times of Refreshing. Like rain falling upon cracked soil, healing and softening the land we need His compassion. Willingness, turning to God, repenting, confession. All of these roads lead to God’s restoration. Let us be willing to do whatever God shows us we need to do, so that the floodgates of His compassion and mercy may pour down from Heaven like refreshing rain upon our dry and weary souls.