Lenten Devotional, Day 14, Midnight Showers, (episode 74)
As I am writing this it’s 12:32 a.m. I was going to write my post in my sit spot on the back porch. I was surprised though to find it raining. I had no idea showers were coming. But, I want to be outside so I am on my front porch now. I wish you could be here to listen with me. Actually, you can if you like, because the above recording was done right here on the porch in this rain.
I’m struck by the fact that a rain storm is simultaneously a single sound and yet many many voices at once. As I listen closely I’m hearing a high pitch pitter patter of rain in puddles on our front steps. A much baser gurgling thump of water is happening in my neighbor’s gutter, and tiny taps on tree leaves surround me. And yet, simultaneously, they make just one big sound called a rainstorm. Lovely, magnificent, soothing, all fitting words, but not quite enough.
As I listen and reflect on the surprise of this rain, I’m thinking of how often God drops blessing into my life unexpectedly. Sometimes the blessings come as just a few drops, but enough, after a long drought. Sometimes, the blessings are torrential. They fill the deepest driest cracks of your being and saturate your soul until your overflowing. Sometimes they come in the quiet of night. Those are special blessings. Those are the blessings that you receive unaware. You’re asleep while God’s doing all of the heavy lifting. Eventually, you wake up, look around, and realize, “Oh my, a storm came through and I never knew it.”
This kind of storm happened in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus withdrew from his disciples a short distance to pray. A massive storm of blessing was brewing. The first rumbles of thunder came through his plaintive cries to God, “O my Father, if it can be possible, let this cup pass from me.” For a moment, the storm looked like it may not come to pass. A bluster of wind, the hint of rain in the air, and lots of rumbling. But, would the storm break?
Then Jesus spoke these words, “Nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt.” The rain of blessing began to fall and the disciples…well, they were sleeping. Think about that, as Jesus was taking on the hard work of redemption, those closest to him were sleeping. They were unaware, unengaged, and uninvolved. He and he alone was bringing the blessing. It was all happening in the dark of night. And this was just the beginning.
Three days later, once again, while the disciples were sleeping, a stone rolled away from a tomb, and the blessing of eternal life came pouring down upon all wanting to receive. The disciples once again awoke to a rain of blessing that had come in the dark of night.
Praise God, we have a God who brings blessing rains even as we sleep. Praise God, that in the darkness of night, in the midnight hour, he brings the living water into our lives, so that we may never thirst.
Questions: When has God blessed you, and you weren’t aware until after the fact? How are blessings showing up right now? If you thought about them as rain, how would you describe them? Are you experiencing a little drizzle, a steady and satisfying rain, a dramatic storm, an overwhelming flood? Are you witnessing the blessings in the moment, or are you only realizing them after the fact?
A Collect of Awareness: Holy God, giver of the living water, Jesus Christ, open our eyes to recognize the blessings you have showered upon us even as we are sleeping, that we might drink deeply and appreciate the glory of your unceasing love, in Christ’s name we pray. Amen.