Friday, July 20, 2012

Rain is a Good Thing

I know it's been a few days, but since I have a few minutes between breakfast, doing laundry, and morning devotionals, here's what's on my mind.

I don't like rain.  Never have, and maybe never will.  Surprisingly my community's economy is somewhat dependent on weather and in particular, rain.  Churches praise on Sunday morning when the rain has come, as it rarely does in the summer.  Wednesday, I was once again thankful for the rain like the farmers in Oklahoma.  While we've been at Stony Point for the last 8 days, we have been blessed with a nice place to stay and a beautiful environment in which to worship.  However, the high humidity and lack of air conditioning in the individual sleeping quarters has been far from my favorite part.  After a warm evening and difficulty sleeping, I was so thankful for the rain, and especially the 15 degree decrease in temperature that has continued to keep us cool (and provide me the opportunity to wear a jacket today).

Here's the lesson I've learned from all of this.  At yesterday's morning devotion, we prayed the covenant prayer of the Wesleyan tradition.  In case you're not familiar, here is what it says:

I am no longer my own, but thine.
Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed for thee or laid aside for thee, exalted for thee or brought low for thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, thou art mine, and I am thine.
So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth,
let it be ratified in heaven.

We reflected on how we have felt called, and I wrestled with the possibility that God sometimes calls us to be empty, suffering, and have nothing.  I feel like I have a purpose, but accepting the possibility of emptiness is quite difficult.  I praise God in the sunlight when I can be active, but I also must be thankful for the rain, even if it doesn't fulfill me.  This morning, think about what things truly bless you, imagine if God had called you into ministry without those things or people, and accept that despite the circumstances, He has a purpose for you.  Whether it be a time of suffering or emptiness, praise God for the ability to be "not my own, but thine".

I hope you enjoy this prayer as much as I did and will make time to reflect on where God has placed you.  By looking through the lens of His purpose, not my own, I feel fulfilled in the emptiness and abundantly blessed with nothing.

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