Though the rain last Sunday in Park Rapids was welcomed, many were hoping it would have been more substantial. Though we had a winter that saw record snowfall in some areas, that moisture has not transferred to summer, and it has been a long time since we have had a nice, steady rain. The crops are dry, the gardens are dry, and the roads are very dusty. We need rain, and only God can send it.
The dryness of these last few summer months reminds us of what it is like to be in a desert. Often in the Bible, the desert is used as a metaphor for being out of fellowship with God. The cause of our separation from God is our sin, which is the breaking of God’s law. David acknowledges his sinfulness in Psalm 32, saying: “I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.” David’s sinfulness had weighed down on him, so that he was ready to go on record against himself and admit he had done wrong. The way he describes the way he felt while he lived with his guilt is this way: “For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer.” (Psalm 32:4)
When we look at the dust and dry grass around us here in Park Rapids, be reminded of how it feels to be out of fellowship with God because of our sins. There can be no true joy, no fulfillment, and no peace while we are at odds with God because of our sinfulness. Yet God offers forgiveness through Jesus Christ, promised in verses like 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” This forgiveness and restoration is often described using a rain metaphor (Isaiah 30:23). It is important that we have rain, but it is much more important that we be restored to a right relationship with God. That restoration only comes by the grace of God through faith in His promises.