I (Kate) absolutely love rain. I never knew what it means to long for rains before I moved to Malawi.
In Australia the majority of rain is cold. Rain is associated with winter. When I lived in Australia I didn’t hate rain, but I was indifferent to it. In Malawi I love rain!
In Malawi the rains come in the summer, throughout October and November the heat and humidity build and then the rains begin. The rains bring relief in different ways. They settle the incredible dust of Lilongwe and clear the air and they bring a cool change. Within the first few days of rains, the grass, long dried off springs back to life, the trees seem to glow and people begin to plant. Rains bring the much-needed water supply for the production of food for the country. The rains also bring hope that our scarce electricity supply will slowly improve as water levels rise.
Many of the authors of the bible seemed to share my love for rain. Rain is often referred to as a blessing after drought or as a cleansing. Job reminds that rains are a demonstration of Gods’ provision after a time of lack. Jeremiah highlights that rains are a reminder of God’s goodness to us and Joel associates rains to God’s abundance. I also love that rains come around Christmas time. Like Christmas, the rains remind me that God hasn’t abandoned or forgotten us. He is good to us in His abundant provision.
When rain comes there are two different types of plants that grow. The first type is natural plants and weeds that spring up. They don’t need to be planted, fertilized or cultivated. They just grow. The second type is plants and trees that are planted, cultivated and cared for in order to grow. It is the second type that we harvest and consume. This reminds us that as God brings rain in our hearts, there are things that God will grow naturally in us, and there are others that grow because we intentionally plant and cultivate them. We need to pay attention to the purpose of the rain in our lives, to ask what is God growing naturally and what do we need to do to be intentional in our growth? Are there disciplines like rest, bible reading, reflection or reading that we need to invest in so that we be part of the cultivating of our own growth? We love to ask these questions as we enter into the Christmas season where our rhythms and daily routines change. We want to be people who are growing, so that we can share the harvest of God’s goodness in our lives with others!