Rains of Refreshing

 “Come, let us return to the LORD.
For He has torn us, but He will heal us;
He has wounded us, but He will bandage us.
“He will revive us after two days;
He will raise us up on the third day,
That we may live before Him.
“So let us know, let us press on to know the LORD.
His going forth is as certain as the dawn;
And He will come to us like the rain,
Like the spring rain watering the earth.”
Hosea 6:1-3 [NASB]

Two days a week I take Sophie to classes at a church across town.  Because she only has three classes, one class one day and two the other, there’s not enough time to return home while she’s in them.  As a result, both days I typically sit in the parking lot in the car and wait.  More often than not these forced times of stillness result in the spilling of my tears.  I have repeatedly tried to productively use these hours of parking lot time, but only with marginal success.  My raw heart has very much grown to dread my time there.  From the start I have never doubted that the preciousness of the drive time with Sophie is worth any and all pain the parking lot time holds.  None the less, I was greatly relieved to have a break from those hours of entrapment when Christmas break arrived.

School resumed on January 8th, as did my parking lot time.  Seven months to the day from when Sarah left us, and there I sat trapped alone again with my shattered heart.  I sat in the parking lot facing the church, battle ready, Bible in hand and worship music playing.  I closed my eyes and communed in prayer with Him.  I opened my eyes and watched the rain drops steadily landing on and rolling down the windshield.  As I shifted my focus, I noticed in the distance the cross on the church before me.  In that moment I was reminded how just as I shifted my eyes from the raindrops to the cross,  I am called to look through this raging storm that currently engulfs me to focus on Him (Isa. 26:3-4).  I was reminded that He promises to sustain through the storms of this life those who are founded upon Him (Matt. 7:25).  I was reminded that He promises to satisfy, strengthen and comfort us like the rains that replenish scorched lands (Isa. 58:11).  Though our souls may be dry and parched from suffering and pain, as we continue to hunger and thirst for righteousness, He promises we will be filled (Matt. 5:6).  As we fix our eyes on Him, we will be fully satisfied in Him (Psalm 22:26).

I’m so thankful for His gentleness and faithfulness to meet us in our brokenness.  The dispenser of the rain and the collector of my tears sees me, knows me, and loves me.  He has not forgotten me, forsaken me nor abandoned me.  Though He has torn and wounded me in allowing Sarah’s death, He promises to bandage and heal me.   And through the blood of Jesus Christ, raised on the third day, He has graciously enabled me to live before Him.   So in the midst of the storm I will focus on Him.  I will press on to know Him, confident in the certainty of His coming, and with Him the rains of refreshing.

“So let us know, let us press on to know the LORD.
His going forth is as certain as the dawn;

And He will come to us like the rain,
Like the spring rain watering the earth.”
Hosea 6:3 [NASB]

Below is Sarah’s journal entry from one year ago today.  A one line note from our student worship service, along with one of her favorite quotes, hand lettered.  So divinely timed and appropriate.

“When things get dark, you can focus on Jesus.” ~ Sarah Harmening

focus

“For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you.  ‘O afflicted one, storm-tossed and not comforted, behold, I will set your stones in antimony, and lay your foundations with sapphires.‘” Isaiah 54:10-11 [ESV]

3 thoughts on “Rains of Refreshing

  1. January 11, 2017 was the day my daddy passed. Thank you for your posts. These posts have helped and reminded me to pray for your family. God is so good especially in our darkest times. I bet Sarah would want you to focus on Jesus and leading others to Him. Through these posts you never know who you may reach, so keep pouring your broken heart on paper . The writings may also help provide healing for your heart. May God send your family comfort, hope, strength and healing. I am in the waiting room right now while my mama is having surgery preparing for kidney dialysis. Hopefully she will not have to use it. I am Julie’s sister in law and Madison’s Aunt.

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