“April showers bring May flowers,” we chanted as children. My father, a farm boy, taught me that snow enriches the soil. In a farming community, the weather forecast is the must see segment of the evening news. Rain and snow fulfill a great purpose in God’s cycle of life, watering the earth so that good things to eat and enjoy will grow. You and I count on the rain to do its job.
In my early years of ministry, Baptists argued about how to describe the authority of the scriptures in the Christian life and the church. The adjectives you attached to the Bible became a litmus test for acceptance and participation in some Baptist circles. In the heat of that battle, I found a peaceful home in Isaiah’s divine message about God’s word: it will fulfill its purpose. As water from the heavens is essential to growing plants, God’s word is essential to growing spiritual life. When it touches us, our promise and potential germinate and sprout. The outcome of God’s word at work is that every believer has seed to sow, a message to proclaim, and a witness to share. Through this sowing, hungry souls can be fed.
Isaiah tells the exiles to let go of what they’ve gained in Babylon and make the risky journey back to Jerusalem because they can trust God’s word to them to fulfill its purpose. God’s word succeeds in guiding and preserving them as they answer the high calling of being God’s people. We can let go of what is safe and familiar and make the risky journey to a life of greater service and faithfulness as well, because we know God’s word will fulfill its purpose. God’s word will bring us to life and empower us to bear the fruit that truly matters.
List some scriptures God has used to bring you to life and make you more fruitful.
God of Heaven, as the rain and snow fall upon the earth and fulfill their purpose of bringing it to life, let your word fall upon me and do its work of enlivening me. Amen.