He Covers the Heavens

Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;

    make melody to our God on the lyre!

He covers the heavens with clouds;

    He prepares rain for the earth;

    He makes grass grow on the hills.

—Psalm 147:7-8

I could see the tall cloud mass in front of us as my husband and I drove down the highway. 

I found out later through a weather warning and a good look at the radar that the storm was about an hour’s drive from us. 

Towering so tall, the clouds were likely to bring hail and 40 mile per hour winds. 

Looking at the sky with the clouds so massive, I am reminded of God’s power. 

He creates the clouds and sends us life-giving rain. 

Thank You, Lord, for providing for all our needs. 

Rain Down

You heavens above, rain down My righteousness; let the clouds shower it down. Let the earth open wide, let salvation spring up, let righteousness flourish with it; I, the LORD, have created it.

—Isaiah 45:8

It has rained for several hours now.

Night has fallen as the rain continues to bring life-giving moisture as every drop falls.

Salvation is a gift from God.

It is life forever, coming from the love of God to us.

raindown

Gentle Showers

“Listen, O heavens, and I will speak!
    Hear, O earth, the words that I say!
 Let My teaching fall on you like rain;
    let my speech settle like dew.
Let my words fall like rain on tender grass,
    like gentle showers on young plants.
 I will proclaim the name of the Lord;
    how glorious is our God!
 He is the Rock; His deeds are perfect.
    Everything He does is just and fair.
He is a faithful God who does no wrong;
    how just and upright He is!”

—Deuteronomy 32:1-4

 

 

 

The leaves on the bushes by my front door often catch my eye when raindrops have found their place on each individual one.

The water is life-giving to the plants.

Without it, they would die.

Like rain falling on us, the truths of God give us life in Him.

He is glorious!

He is the Rock!

His deeds are perfect!

He is just!

He is fair!

He is faithful!

He does no wrong!

He is just!

He is upright!

 

tendergrass

Prepare a Place

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am.

—John 14:3

 

The water at the end of my driveway reflected the sunset and its colors like a giant glass mirror.

So perfectly was the image of the pastel hues blending with clouds in the sky, you could almost imagine just stepping into the scene and finding yourself in another world.

That sounds like science fiction, doesn’t it?

Another realm of life, just a footstep away.

Although it is a fascinating subject for novels and movies, most people wouldn’t quite take it seriously.

Yet, as followers of Jesus Christ, we do take that thought seriously.

Another realm of life, just a footstep–just a breath–just a heartbeat–away.

Jesus said that if He would go and prepare a place for us, then He would come back and take us to be where He was.

The spiritual realm is right with us, but we don’t see it with our earthly eyes.

Our faith is not in what we can touch, but what we are sure about in our hearts.

Heaven is real.

It’s not science fiction.

It’s our future home.

 

 

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I Would Hurry

As I drove away from work, I had only been in my car perhaps three minutes when the dark gray clouds above me sent a great flash of lightning and the sound of thunder so great and consuming that I instinctively crouched down in the driver’s seat, clinging to the steering wheel. 

It was like a heralding trumpet, announcing the great storm to come….

Driving only a small distance on the highway, the torrential rain began. 

It was difficult to see the lane markings as I crept along at a slow speed with my tires throwing up waves of water from the pavement beneath me.

Once, a vehicle  passed by and the deluge of water from their tires arriving on my windshield stole all vision of the road from me. 

As I made my way down the six lane highway, the radio announcer related weather warnings completely accurate to my situation. 

The thought occurred to me that for so people, everyday life is a struggle, like trying to drive through a storm. 

People who do not know Jesus have an obscured view of life. 

As troubling situations arise, the road ahead is difficult to navigate alone. 

It’s hard to navigate through each day when they’re experiencing the storms without God’s guidance and direction. 

The psalmist said, “I would hurry to find shelter from the raging wind and storm.”

(Psalm 55:8)

That man you see, that woman you see—that grandmother or grandfather–that child—that person who doesn’t know Jesus as their Savior—they are stuck in a storm. 

They want to hurry and find a way out, but they don’t know how to begin. 

We can help. 

Those of us who know Jesus can start by talking to them. 

Talking to them about God and His Son, Jesus. 

They don’t have to remain on a stormy, six lane highway with their hands gripping the steering wheel. 

It can all change—the moment they believe. 

Who can you talk to today that’s struggling in the storm?

Rain Down

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“You heavens above, rain down My righteousness;
    let the clouds shower it down.
Let the earth open wide,
    let salvation spring up,
let righteousness flourish with it;
    I, the Lord, have created it.

—Isaiah 45:8

 

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rain down

Fresh as the Morning

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The Lord‘s unfailing love and mercy still continue,
    Fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise.

—Lamentations 3:22-23

As I walked past the roses planted in the church yard, I stopped to photograph them.

The shower was now over and the water droplets were adorning the leaves and petals like transparent jewels.

Fresh after the rain, the life giving water would reach down into the soil, sustaining the beauty for another day.

God’s unfailing love and mercy toward us is ever present.

It reaches down into our lives, sustaining us each and every day.

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unfailing

Everything Beautiful

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Without really thinking about, I glanced outside the kitchen window.

It had been rainy for the last few hours.

Now, in the midst of all the wet grass and glossy tree leaves, golden sunlight was streaming onto my front yard.

For me, that was a resounding call to go outside with my camera.

After taking some photos of the sunset, I walked around my house, enjoying the coolness of the air and the gentle sounds around me.

Stopping at some flowers I had planted earlier in the summer, I found that water droplets were adorning each one like little clear jewels on pink pillows.

Everywhere I looked, I saw beauty.

Other flowers blooming.

Turtle nests.

A red-shouldered hawk, high in a tree.

How blessed I was to see it all!

God has made everything beautiful.

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He has made everything beautiful in its time.

—from Ecclesiastes 3:11

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in its time

Ask The Lord

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Do we look for blessings in the wrong places?

When there are needs, we should ask the Lord to provide for us.

He is the only one who can.

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Ask the Lord for rain in the springtime, and he will answer with lightning and showers. Every field will become a lush pasture.  How foolish to ask the idols for anything like that! Fortune-tellers’ predictions are all a bunch of silly lies; what comfort is there in promises that don’t come true? Judah and Israel have been led astray and wander like lost sheep; everyone attacks them, for they have no shepherd to protect them.

—Zechariah 10:1-2

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rain two

Bloom Salvation

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Have you felt the rain?

Have the drops of God’s goodness fallen on your heart?

Has salvation bloomed within you today?

Open up, heavens, and rain.
    Clouds, pour out buckets of my goodness!
Loosen up, earth, and bloom salvation;
    sprout right living.
    I, God, generate all this.

–Isaiah 45:8  The Message

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bloom

The Sea Into Jars

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I was certainly surprised.

The rain was pouring off my roof at an amazing rate.

In a flower garden area by my kitchen window, I have a large glass vase filled with water.

If a section of a plant in the garden breaks off, it can be placed in the glass container to root.

The rain was collecting in just the right area on the roof to come barreling down right into the vase.

This was causing tremendous bubbling.

Intrigued by natural phenomena like bubbling water in a rainstorm, I decided to photograph the vase and the surrounding area.

Looking at the result, I could see uniform bubbles near the top of the vase.

Deciding to crop the photo just at the bubbling area to see what it looked like, I was amazed.

The clear bubbles now looked a misty white color, surrounding a violet colored plant that was rooting in the vase.

It looked like an oil painting, with gentle hues of green and mauve brushed delicately as a reflection in each individual sphere of liquid and air.

The task of gathering rain water into a jar is an easy one, given the presence of rain.

We are limited in how much water we can gather into one place by the size of the container we can construct.

Not so with God.

Psalm 33:7 reads,

He gathers the waters of the sea into jars; he puts the deep into storehouses.

Can you imagine what it would be like for God to gather all the water on earth together at one place and time and simply put it in a jar?

He could if He wanted to.

God is not limited.

Ever.

Can you and I trust God, who can place the oceans of the world in a jar, to:

-guide us daily?

-comfort our hearts?

-transform our lives?

Shouldn’t  we ask God, who is limitless, to work past our limitations?

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into jars

When He Speaks

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It was one of those unusual times when the sun was shining and it was raining at the same time.

Everything looked vivid with a wet, shiny glow.

As I stood on my front porch, I photographed the rain on the roof.

I photographed the rain on the sidewalk.

And the rain dropping in front of our rock fountain.

It was a delightfully rare collection of moments as I quietly thrilled to the sights and sounds of God’s plan to water the earth.

God made the earth by his power and wisdom. He stretched out the heavens by his understanding.  When he speaks, there is thunder in the heavens, and he causes the vapors to rise around the world; he brings the lightning with the rain and the winds from his treasuries.

Jeremiah 51:15-16

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treasuries

You Are Worth More

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It had started raining about a half hour before I was to leave work.

When I had finally gathered all my things—-including a briefcase, purse, and a bottle of water—I headed out to the parking lot.

On the way, I scurried under a covered walkway as far as I could.

Not only was there rain, there was lightning.

Feeling uneasy about walking right out into the rain and flashes of light, I began to pray as I did so.

My prayer was probably something like this:

“Lord, please protect me.”

As I walked on the pavement, I suddenly heard a bird.

I looked up to see a bird singing, very high in a palm tree.

Singing in the midst of the storm.

Singing in the top of a tree.

Some lyrics came to my mind.

“For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.”

(by Civilla D. Martin)

As I got into my car, the storm continued.

I lowered a window in the car and got out my camera.

With a good zoom shot, I photographed the little bird.

Jesus said, Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.  And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

—Matthew 10:29-31

God was comforting me with a singing bird, reminding me that His eye was on me as I walked across the parking lot in the rain and lightning.

His eye is on you, too.

Even when you walk through a storm…..

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afraid

He Calmed the Storm

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I could see the storm coming over the beach and out to sea.

The unrelenting power of the wind and rain.

Vast and uncontrollable, it could not be stopped.

The storms in our lives look just like that, don’t they?

Unrelenting.

Powerful.

Vast.

Uncontrollable.

God sees things in a different way than we do.

The storm at the beach was not too big for Him.

The storms in our lives aren’t either.

He has the power to calm the wind and the waves.

 

He calmed the storm to a whisper
    and stilled the waves.

–Psalm 107:29

 

 

storm two

 

 

 

He Comforts Us

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When I came out of the meeting, the sun was just beginning to set.

Most of the sky was riddled in clouds and it was raining.

Other people were exiting to the outside, as well.

I said something like, “I love it when it rains and the sun is shining!”

Getting into my car, I began to drive as I witnessed a magnificent display of color and beauty as the sun’s rays painted the monochrome clouds in a brilliant array.

Stopping the engine on a street, (no other cars were in sight) I snapped a photo or two.

For at least the next twenty minutes, I watched the various hues emerge in intensity within the moving clouds.

I began to think—

It had been raining.

The sun had been shining through the rain.

For some reason, we associate rain with difficult times and sunshine with happy times.

Thinking along those lines, I was experiencing a visual representation of “happy difficulty.”

How can circumstances bring us happiness and still be difficult and trying at the same time?

Life can get hard.  Really hard.

So much can go wrong.

But, along with the struggles, we can become aware of God’s presence through it all.

His light can begin to blaze through the rain, creating a spectacle of radiance that captures our gaze and draws us away from the storm.

At these moments, we are aware of both our problems and His presence.

2 Corinthians 1:4 tells us,

“He comforts us whenever we suffer. That is why whenever other people suffer, we are able to comfort them by using the same comfort we have received from God.”

God does not leave us alone…

even when it rains.

 

H