Morning Prayer: Come Holy Spirit; open my eyes so that I may see You clearly, open my ears so that I may hear You soundly, open my mind so that I may understand You more, open my heart so that I may love You fiercely, open my hands so that I may give generously and receive humbly. Come Holy Spirit; fill me with Your fire so that I can be more like You, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Today’s Reading: Daniel 5:1-7:28
This morning I have been smitten with the beauty of the LORD surrounding me. Yesterday was gloomy and dark as thunderous showers passed through one after another filling the streets with splashing puddles and my heart with joy at each roll of thunder. Each one like the boom of a Godly voice singing in chorus with nature’s song of praise; I love rainy days like that! But this morning, the photographer rose up in me with the sun! There is NOTHING like drops of rain sitting prettily upon delicate flower petals sparkling like diamonds as they reflect the sun’s glorious light! These days we often think of rain as less of a blessing and more of a curse, or in the least a hindrance. “Rain, rain, go away come again another day!” we chanted as youths and may even today teach our own children to sing along. But that’s not how God sees the rain; not at all. Rain is critical to a plant’s development, without rain there would be no food, without food there would be no life! Rain is a tremendous blessing in the life of a believer!
Like little drops of diamond upon the delicate petals of our soul the hard moments in our lives come to cleanse us from the things that hinder us from becoming more intimate with our Heavenly Husband. Yesterday, in Daniel we read one of my all time favorite stories in the Bible, the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. I have written about it before (in Fire of Affliction) so I won’t go into detail again, but the rain is just like that firey furnace that instantly burned off the cords that bound the godly men but never touched the clothes that they were wearing – not even with the smell of smoke! So is with the cleansing rain, it removes the dirt that we see upon ourselves and helps us to live lives that honor God. Lives that point to Him. Lives of beauty and passion.
This morning I peered out my front door to wave goodbye to my husband as he jumped into his truck and rumbled off to work. Suddenly, my eye was captured by a patch of yellow irises, tall and proud, and I set my mind to photograph them at my first opportunity. I carted my son off to school, pulled the car back into the driveway and promptly and purposefully strode across the street to the neighbor’s yard where these pristine flowers stood at the crossroads of our main street and a gravel alleyway. They may have bloomed before yesterday’s rain, I’m guessing that they had, but I certainly hadn’t noticed them until this morning as the first rays of morning sun struck their pale yellow faces lighting them up with a radiance that I simply couldn’t ignore or resist. Their beauty was striking, but what immediately caught my eye was not the flowers, or the absolutely breathtaking beauty of the rain droplets sparking in the now bright morning sun, it was the flies! There on the flower petals were flies, big and small, drinking from the water droplets on the flowers!!! I’ve never seen such a thing! I mean, I’ve always assumed that the bugs drank somehow, but I’ve never actually seen them do it up close before! And with my camera I was able to actually zoom in and see them closer than with my naked eye. It was fascinating! So through a little bit of fighting with the auto-focus on my camera and a lot of pleading with Jesus to “help me get this shot!” so that you too could see what I was seeing I was finally able to get a picture of a gnat drinking a drop of water from the leaf of a future flower in the garden. As I was taking the pictures I was amazed with how God structured my steps this morning. First, by pointing the flowers out to me from afar He drew my attention to them through the light of the Holy Spirit and the morning rays of sun. Then, He brought me closer to them, camera in tow, in order to feast on the sight of the sun in the water only to show me something that I had never seen before. A sight that I never would have been able to see from behind my closed door!
My friends, every morning I pray for God to open every part of me that I can think of that could be closed to Him, I then ask the Holy Spirit to come and fill all those places with Himself, His Holy Fire. And then I feast on the Word of God through our daily reading of the Bible. Every morning I feast at the Table of Communion with Jesus through His Word. And it is through His word that He strengthens and fortifies me, He speaks to me in those moments and because of those opening moments first thing in the morning I am more open to Him and His gentle but firm leading throughout the day. Because I have prayed daily for God to open me up, to see HIM clearly and hear HIM soundly, to understand HIM more and to love HIM fiercely, to give to HIM generously and to receive from HIM humbly I DO! I am, for the first time in my life, seeing Him clearly! I am seeing His light and His wonder and His goodness! I have spent so much time in the gloomy dreary days of my life knowing that God is good and experiencing Him through the rainy moments of life, all the while missing those moments of wonder during the morning after the rain. God is good ALL the time! In Him there is NO darkness! LIFE has dark moments, it just does, but those dark moments help us to appreciate the morning after. Those dark days place into stark contrast the bright mornings where The Son is shining upon the rain that came to cleanse and causes it to shine like diamonds upon the delicate petals of the flower of our heart, opening oh so beautifully toward the Lord’s caress and loving care through the garden of our relationship with Him. He is the gardener, the One who tends to us oh so carefully. He is the One who comes in and firmly but carefully rips those weeds out of our lives, the ones that choke us and rob us of the nourishment that only He can provide us.
Yes my Beloved, He cares for us so tenderly. He allows the rain to fall upon our heads, but that is certainly no reason to turn our faces away from His attentions, but rather turn them all the more toward His radiant light in order to allow its rays to shine down upon us in order to use that rain to reflect that marvelous Light onto those around us. Perhaps in the hopes to draw them nearer to us so that they may see something they’ve never seen before… God working in their own lives. And He uses US to do that! Now, how awesome is that?