It’s a sound I’ve not heard in months – the soothing rhythm of rain beating wildly on my rooftop. Truthfully, I was half-tempted to go outside and dance in the momentary downpour. We are weeks into the rainy season here and the landscape is as parched as many of the people who traverse it.
Like those whose incomes are all but dried up from months of unemployment. Or the many whose patience is all but seared simply waiting on normal to return. Or the many whose hopes are all but withered, long exposed to these arid months of COVID.
I opened the screen to my sliding glass door, the mist from the showers finding its way onto my skin. The unbearable heat of the day was waning as steadily as the sweat on my brow and I couldn’t help but marvel at this timely gift from the Good Father. To most, it was just a heavy rain shower. To me, it was the long-awaited manifestation of the never-late faithfulness of God.
Something told me to stay in this moment for a while. So I did. I stood there in that doorframe in wonder. I looked out and saw the earth’s thirst being quenched by showers of blessings that were falling on both the just and the unjust. I wanted that too. I wanted my thirst to be quenched.
Thirst for normal, for the way things were.
Thirst for order in all of this present chaos.
Thirst to know how to just move forward from here.
Indeed, the presence and effects of the past eighteen months of this pandemic have been draining, to say the least. The lockdowns. The isolation. The masked-up smiles I can no longer see. The removal of basic freedoms once taken for granted. Had anyone told me that this would happen in my lifetime, I would have most likely brushed it off as inconceivable.
Almost as inconceivable as the sea swells that, in March 2018, knocked my workplace completely off its foundation after days of battering. Not only was the security of the building now compromised, but the livelihoods of every staff member were maimed without notice.
Almost as inconceivable as the new building the company occupied being closed down in October of the same year due to health hazards from dust being kicked up from a neighboring construction site.
And almost as inconceivable as the next site being gravely impacted by the government’s efforts to squelch a sewage situation, impacting one of the island’s most frequented coasts. And by the end of October 2019, this would be the proverbial straw that would break the camel’s back.
Or so we thought.
Enter COVID and the subsequent mass exodus of tourists in the prime of the winter season. Any mild hopes that the company may have had of rebounding were now pretty much dashed.
Dashed by the turbulence of the past eighteen months.
Dashed by the tempest of the past three years.
I’d spent the better part of two decades in a livelihood now succumbed to the inertia of all that wasn’t in its control. In many ways, being a part of the company had become a major part of my identity here. With that now impeded, I felt doubtful in my abilities, displaced in my purpose and, if I’m honest, depressed by it all.
Desperate for a refreshing, I stood in that doorframe that Sunday marveling at the sun-scorched fields being watered by our good God. It was a sweet refrain – a refrain that was not only quenching the earth, but was resuscitating me. I joined in nature’s chorus, tearfully declaring from the overflow of my heart:
“The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, to guide and to shield me],
I shall not want.
He lets me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still and quiet waters.
He refreshes and restores my soul (life);”
Psalm 23:1-3a (AMP)
He is MY Shepherd.
He lets me, makes me, He even permits me to lie down in green pastures. Oh Sisters, how sweet is that! Not just in any pasture, but in GREEN pastures! Pastures lush and beautiful.
THAT is where HE lets us rest.
THAT is where HE refreshes our souls.
THAT is where HE restores our lives – in pastures well-watered and already provided for.
So I claim it loud, above the noise of doubts and depression and downpours, “The Lord is MY Shepherd, I shall not want!”
I shall not want.
I shall not worry.
I shall not be afraid. Because,
“…blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” ~ Jeremiah 17:7-8
I shall not want, for I am rooted in the Living Water.
I shall not worry, for even out of these years of drought, I will still bear fruit.
I shall not be afraid, for though I am being propelled to turn over a new leaf, I will prosper because I trust Him.
I stood a little longer in that moment of the refreshing – the rain making the pastures green and the Shepherd restoring my soul. It really is gonna be okay.
Is there a situation that you are currently dealing with that is leaving you parched? What Scriptures can you speak over them that will provide a refreshing for your soul?