Thunder rumbled in the distance. Dark clouds floated along the horizon, inching toward me. Someone was getting rain. An hour later, the sky cleared. Someone did receive rain, but it wasn’t me.
After a prolonged dry season, sunny south Florida needs precipitation. Not the drips of a drizzle, but the deluge of a downpour. Showers that soak deep into the soil instead of rivulets running off parched surfaces to collect in curbside puddles.
The weather report warns of a 10% chance of rain on a regular basis, but the dry season isn’t ready to release its grip. Fluffy white clouds tease as they skate across blue skies, beautiful but empty. Irrigation systems sprinkle much-needed water across parched lawns, offering the proverbial drop-in-the-bucket until the day dry clouds are no longer void and release long-awaited refreshment.
There’s another kind of dry cloud. The Bible likens ungodly people to “clouds without rain” and trees that are fruitless and uprooted (Jude 1:12). People who only care for themselves and who pretend to be something they’re not.
I know people like that. People who have let me down when I needed them. Co-workers who pretended to work with me while furthering their own ambitions. Friends who betrayed the foundation of friendship for the sake of convenience.
I’m ashamed to say there have been times in my own life when others could have used these same phrases to describe me. When my behavior was more like an ungodly person than the Christian I claimed to be. When nurturing my own hurts was more important than forgiving the offender.
But each day brings the opportunity to start anew. An opportunity to surrender to the lordship of Christ and deny my baser instincts. To follow His Word rather than my natural inclinations. To grow more like Christ and become all that He created me to be by the power of His Holy Spirit. And to be less like the dry cloud and fruitless tree in Jude and more like the fruitful tree in Psalm 1:1-3 (NIV):
Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.
Is that the patter of raindrops I hear on the roof? I hope so. But what I really long for is the watering of the Holy Spirit as I apply God’s Word to yield the fruit He wants to grow in me.
How about you?
Ava, I appreciate how you spelled out who “dry clouds” appear as in our daily lives. Sadly, I think I’ve been on both sides of that illustration. I’m so thankful that, as I grow in my relationship with the Lord, He conforms me more and more to His image, so (hopefully) I am a cloud that shares refreshment rather than one that teases and offers nothing.
Amen. Each day brings opportunity to start again and share the love of Christ. Great message.
Thanks for the encouragement found in your post today Ava. I pray I can bring nourishing rains into the lives of those I meet daily.
I’m so thankful for the “watering” of the Holy Spirit. Great piece, Ava!
I’ve never really focused much on this passage and description about dry clouds. What a great analogy. I like how you said, “…each day brings the opportunity to start anew. An opportunity to surrender to the lordship of Christ and deny my baser instincts. To follow His Word rather than my natural inclinations.”
We can relate to the dry clouds too, the ones that seem to be coming toward us but dry up before they arrive at our location. Could certainly use some rain.
And I can equally relate to the dry clouds in my spirit at times. I am thankful that our God is a God of second chances as I certainly need many of them.
I’m so incredibly grateful for that opportunity to begin anew. No matter how awful today may have been and how many failures I may have added to my long list of times I’ve blown it, the ability to turn to God and begin over again and again is one of the greatest blessings of being a Christian. I can admit my mistakes. I can try again, producing the actions and words that my profession of faith promises. The rain can fall as needed and promised and predicted. We can live lives that produce what Christ has said is truly ours, a new life in him. Let the rain fall as promised.