Rain In Its Season

Rain in Its Season

Today’s Scripture Selection: Leviticus 26:3

“If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, I will send you rains in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees their fruit. Your threshing will continue until grape harvest and the grape harvest will continue until planting, and you will eat all the food you want and live in safety in your land.”

After carefully setting forth all the ways the Israelites were to be a holy people before God, God reminded them of a promise.

The promise was if they followed His decrees and were careful to follow His commands – they would be blessed.  He then warned them that if they did not, well, you can imagine what would happen.

Such “promises” from God make a lot of people uncomfortable.

It is a lot more reassuring to think that God just promises blessing – no matter what – but, scripture doesn’t say that.

I don’t think it is so much that God is like a great blessing or curse dispenser in the sky, that rains down choice A or choice B depending on which lever we push.

Rather, it is that there are simply very real consequences of the life choices we make.

Following God is the way to find abundant life.  Turning from God is the way to find depravation and hardship.

Does it mean that faithful people never suffer?  No, it is not that simple either.  In fact, scripture makes it clear that the “rain” falls on the righteous and unrighteous alike.

So what does it mean?

Again, I think it is simply saying that facing life challenges the way God instructs is the way to ultimate blessing.  It may not always come as we expect – but one day – we will find it.

So be careful, not as in “be full of care,” but as in walking carefully.  Seek God’s will and follow His direction.

Life may not always be easy but it will be providentially blessed – just as God has promised.    Our lives will be somehow nourished and fruitful – just like land that has received much needed rain – all in due time.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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