Thursday, April 9, 2015

Settling the Ridges

Psalm 65:9-13

You visit the earth and water it;
    you greatly enrich it;
the river of God is full of water;
    you provide their grain,
    for so you have prepared it.
You water its furrows abundantly,
    settling its ridges,
softening it with showers,
    and blessing its growth.
You crown the year with your bounty;
    your wagon tracks overflow with abundance.
The pastures of the wilderness overflow,
    the hills gird themselves with joy,
the meadows clothe themselves with flocks,
    the valleys deck themselves with grain,
    they shout and sing together for joy

There is something about poetry that stirs the depths of my soul. Putting words together in ways that ignite my often dull sensibilities. This is why I am drawn to Psalms and Isaiah. Both paint broad stroke pictures with eloquent words. Both pour out God's faithfulness and love toward his children.

These verses speak life. They give sight to truths that we can see with our eyes if we can manage to pry off the blinders and take it all in. 

The beginning of this chapter (which you should read, like yesterday) talks about God's salvation. It then morphs into this beautiful imagery of farmers planting and yielding their fruit. I especially love v 10. "You water it's furrows abundantly, settling its ridges, softening it with showers, and blessing its growth"

I often view the sharpening of our souls as a painful process, refining fire. This failure to see God's ability to move us and shape us gently, often leads to fear of just what sort of fire God will be walking us through next. Yet, in this verse, God's fire is rain and his refining is a gentle settling. 

This vision of a shower falling on a freshly sown field, the rain settling the hard, rigid places and providing the nourishment needed for the seedlings to break through and see the light of the sun. Doesn't that sound lovely? Isn't it so simple? God settles our hard places with his gentle rain. Allow that to sink in, don't let it drift in the shallows of your soul. 

Does God change us with the hard? Does he move in ways that challenge and stretch? Yes. A thousand times yes. But He is also a gentle rain giver who quietly softens our ridges and makes space for life to flourish. He is able to meet us and move us in the quiet spaces of life. Sometimes he will walk us through fire, but often I believe he takes us through healing rains, we just don't have eyes to see. 

How is God settling your ridges? Where is he meeting you in the quiet, simple places?

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