For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have
watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it. -Isaiah 55:10-11
Rain... We have been all too familiar with it these days as we awake to a grey sky and humid drizzle. It is uncomfortable to have to endure the weather - the extra coat or umbrella, perhaps a pair of leaky shoes
whose inefficiency is made worse by patches of soggy ground. Yet as troublesome and depressing as a
sullen, grey sky and falling water can be, in a sense rain is a wonder, too. Where we have built hard surfaces of asphalt and concrete, building roofs and gutters, the water rolls off and is whisked away. But where there is a space of ground or a bit of growth, the rain sinks in and returns to the earth the life-giving water necessary for growth.
In Isaiah, the prophet compares God's word to the life-giving water of rain and snow. It is a life-giving word which goes out from God, a word which showers upon the earth to accomplish God's purpose. Like the rain, God's word comes upon us seeking us in love so that we might live more and more to God and for God. And though in the end God's word will not be thwarted (even the hardest of mountains are, in time, worn away through the power of water and wind), we certainly have a knack for building hard places in our lives that whisk the word away. Where is the "rain" of God's word falling in your life this week (Where is God in all of this?)? What are those "hard places" which make it difficult to for the word to sink in?