Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday Devotional: Bring the Rain

“Bring me joy.
Bring me peace.
Bring the chance to be free.
Bring me anything that brings You glory.
And I know they’ll be days when this life brings me pain,
but if that’s what it takes to praise You,
Jesus bring the rain.” 
- Bring the Rain by MercyMe
I was listening to this and singing along (if you'd like to listen to it, you can here), and it just kind of hit me. Is this really my prayer? The first three lines of this are easy to pray. They don’t require anything from me. But after that, it gets hard. It stops being about me, about what I feel or believe. It’s then about the Lord, about what brings Him glory and praise. Do I praise Him in the good times? Sure, of course. But when life is easy and I’m not straining or struggling, I can start to lose focus. I become very me centered and I stop relying on Him. But when the rain comes, when I’m faced with something I can’t easily conquer, I turn back to Him. I fall on my knees and humble myself before Him, apologizing for my neglect and asking for a second chance. Thankfully, He always gives both forgiveness and another chance. But will I honestly pray for this? Will I ask Him to bring the hard times, the rain, if it means He gets the praise and glory? I can’t speak for anyone else, but I have a tendency to avoid the hard things in life. If there’s a way around it, I will gladly take it. But that’s not what this song is about and it’s certainly not what faith is about. If Paul, Peter, John, or any of the church leaders from years past had taken the easy road, Christianity wouldn’t be where it is today, in fact, it may not even exist, except that they continued to press on and gave all of the glory to the Lord. The same can also be said of Jesus. Dying on a cross was definitely not the easy path, but He still did it. He didn’t say, “no, this is too hard.” Instead He willingly stepped forward and followed the will of his Father.
So, am I ready to say, “Jesus, bring the rain”? Nope, not even close. I still prefer the uncomplicated way, but unfortunately (or maybe it’s actually a good thing), neither God nor this life wait for you to be ready. If they did, then I’d probably be in the same place my whole life. But “ready” and “willing” are two very different things. All God desires is a willing heart. I expect I’ll figure out the rest as I go.
Lord, please be with us this week. Give us willing hearts, and open eyes and ears to follow the path You have before us. And if that path takes us through a storm, then I ask that You would get the glory and praise throughout. Amen.

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