"I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions." -- The Mighty God
"He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." -- Jesus, speaking of the the Mighty God
"The abundant life does not come to the wise because 'the weather that God sends him is good'. The abundant life comes to the wise because he knows that the God over the weather is with him." -- Yours Truly
It was Wednesday morning, and my son, Shade, who is in Kindergarten asked his mom if he could go to school after the bell rang. Upon probing, Shade said that the day before some big fifth grader had "touched him on the shoulders". I was watching the news about Hurricane Wilma, the most powerful hurricane ever seen in recorded history, when mom told me, I decided to escort Shade in to class rather than just dropping him off so that I could kick some fifth grader's butt.
Instead, I escorted him in and took him to Mrs. Hill and had Shade tell her so that she would be aware of the potential problem. While I was in there, Mrs. Hill showed me a pile of Shade's work that I didn't get to see the night before at Open House. I stood alone in her class flipping through his writings, his work, and his illustrations. Mrs. Hill had written titles for each illustration that were given to her by Shade after he drew them. I got to one of those sheets of manila paper with a couple of cool pictures on it. The titles floored me.
One was called "God over the rain" and the other was "Dad alone with God".
I had no immediate introspective epiphany or anything, but I just sat there looking at the pictures...then at the titles...then and the pictures. Something was happening to me that was hard to describe. It involved joy, but not from just one source. I had joy because these pictures are obviously somewhere inside of my son. I had joy because my son, who has tons of pictures inside of that imaginative heart of his, when choosing to draw anything, chose to draw those. I had joy because of the truth that was contained in them that is bigger than the pictures themselves, and bigger than Shade (or I) consciously knows. I also had wonder...and it, also, was not from just one source. I wonder at how these pictures got inside my boy. I wondered what it meant that they are in there. I wondered why I was standing there experiencing them on this day. And I was grateful...and yes, for more than one thing. I was grateful that my boy has those pictures in him, grateful he expresses them, grateful for sense of wonder and awareness and curiosity it gave me for the day.
A few hours later, Doyle, my friend and the worship leader I work for (and sometimes with), came in and said the word "Immanuel". I knew that he was suggesting this particular name of Jesus (which means "God with Us") as the focus of that night's devotion, which was great, but also did me some serious good personally in conjunction with what I was listening for because of Shade's pictures.
I know there is a mighty God, the God over the Rain, more powerful than the most awesome forces of nature that humanity has ever or will ever see. And my life has been and still is a longing to know that Mighty Being, to be special to Him, to matter to Him, to love Him, and to be with Him. And I have done many, many things...good and bad, and mostly ineffective...to get to Him. But today, God has reminded me personally...through my son, through the weather, through my work, and through my friend...that it is HE who longs to be with ME. And that He wants it, has done it, and is doing it. He is Immanuel. He is with me.
I didn't even have to slow down and reelect on it to know and remember instantly what direct, practical effect it has on me to know this either. He showed me right in the same experience of my son.
My son, who showed some signs of hesitation (but not defiance or paralyzing fear) about wanting to go to school before the bell rang, stopped even thinking about the 5th grader as an issue to be dealt with when I told him that I was coming into class. Instead, his attention turned fully and joyfully and passionately to that single fact... that his dad would be with him. His hesitation that he most assuredly, I'm convinced, could have and would have "handled" on his own as he went where he had to go was replaced by excitement, confidence, and eagerness to just go, because his dad was with Him.
That's exactly what happened, and what happens, to me. I only rarely experience outright defiance or paralyzing fear. I think my Enemy knows by now that I turn shamelessly and dependently to God in the face of those situations. He now challenges me with small things, that just make me hesitating, to get me to appeal to my Self to "be strong" or come up with some strategy to "deal with the problems" on my own as I go where I have to go. But when I live fully present in the reality that the powerful God Over the Rain is with me, I can't even see the problems I get so excited to just go... with excitement, confidence, and eagerness...simply because God is with me.