Do you ever have those verses that, in certain seasons of life, literally wash over your spirit and minister to your heart? James 5:7-8 are verses that have jumped off the pages of Scripture for me. There is so much truth in these two verses. As I reflected on these living words and on the life God has entrusted to me, one particular phrase penetrated my heart. These verses say, “Meanwhile, friends, wait patiently for the Master’s arrival. You see farmers do this all the time, waiting for their valuable crops to mature, patiently letting the rain do its slow but sure work. Be patient like that. Stay steady and strong. The Master could arrive at any time.”
The phrase “patiently letting the rain do its slow but sure work” seemed to leap out at me. Often times, we can see the storms in life as things that God uses to push us to His loving arms (if we “patiently let them”), and certainly they do, however, the word used here in this verse is “rain”. I thought of the song by Mercy Me, Jesus Bring the Rain, and began to contemplate the term rain. Rain comes with aggressive storms, for sure, however, it also comes with simple showers. Showers can be aggravating (especially if you are parked outside and have to go somewhere with a decent hairdo ~ha!) or they can be refreshing on a hot summer day. I thought of the song, Showers of Blessings, and how blessed I truly am. I have received showers of blessings, but I have also experienced the showers that are more aggravating . Oh, not “storms”, like most of us would think of. I haven’t lost a child, gone through a divorce, or hit a financial crisis. I have, however, felt the “showers” that come from people hurting you deeply or taking advantage of you, unexpected hurdles that cost time and money, parenting challenges, and life decisions that just weigh heavy on your heart and mind. These are what I call “showers of stress”, if you will. None of these things are “storms” and sometimes they aren’t even “big problems” in the big picture of life, but they are often annoying and energy zapping things that Satan can use to suck the life out of us. These verses reminded me that God desires to use even these “smaller showers” in our lives to remind us of just how dependent we are on Him and to grow us into all that He desires us to be.
We truly need Him for everything! We cannot let the showers of stress “soak” us and weigh us down. We have to “patiently let the rain (whether a storm or a shower) do its slow and SURE work”, by staying covered in the Word each day. I want to allow even the “showers of stress” that sometimes fall around us (honestly, they daily fall most of the time), to do their work in my heart and life. I don’t want to allow them to deter me from the pursuit I am on for Greatness!
Just like the earlier verse in James 1:21, which reads, “In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life.” I am far more blessed than I deserve, and I deeply desire for God to cultivate a garden in my life that will bring glory to Him and enrich the lives of others!
Thank the Lord today for being the patient Gardener of our hearts and for tending to every detail of our lives, in order to make us a beautiful display of His Glory. May we see the showers of stress as reminders of how completely dependent we are on Him, and may we be patient, allowing them to do the work He desires them to do in our lives. As we’re pursuing Greatness, let’s thank Him for the showers of blessings, that He always intermingles with the stress, in order to remind us of His sweet presence! Finally, whether you’re in a storm or you find yourself walking through one shower after another, be encouraged, because the Son could arrive at any time!