Joel 2:23 “Be glad, O children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God, for he has given the early rain for your vindication; he has poured down for you abundant rain, the early and the latter rain, as before.
I was in the coffee shop today when one of the regular customers came by; Harry has a lot of physical problems as a result of being hit by a car years ago, but he stays active by riding a three-wheel bicycle all around the area. It doesn’t matter whether it is hot, cold, clear, or raining, you’ll likely see Harry slowly cruising around the area. As I talked to Harry today, he mentioned that as he rode today he was feeling a fine misty rain in the air. Now from my perspective, inside the shop, looking out through the windows while sitting in my comfortable air conditioned surrounding it didn’t look like it was misting, it just looked like one of those normal overcast days we see from time to time on the Gulf Coast. You see it is hard to really know what it feels like outside when I stay safely inside away from exposure to the elements.
What occurred to me was that this is not much different than how it goes in our experience with the outpouring of God’s presence. As long as we stay isolated, and insulated, from what He is doing we can never be more than casual observers. We can sit in our safe places, wondering what it is like, perhaps seeing from a distance some evidence that something is happening, but never feeling it personally impacting and effecting our lives. To feel the rain, I have to step outd and let it touch me personally; I can’t know for sure if it is cold or warm, hard or gentle, refreshing or challenging to my comfort, unless I step out into its presence. I get to choose what I am willing to experience, I want to choose to experience the outpouring of His presence, even if it challenges me to experience things beyond my comfort zone.