The Brightness After Rain
The Shelter of His Wings, Devotion #11
By Jane Josephs
“When one rules over people in righteousness, when he rules in the fear of God, he is like the light of morning at sunrise on a cloudless morning, like the brightness after rain that brings grass from the earth.” –2 Samuel 23:3b-4
The first time I saw a rainbow after moving to California twenty years ago, I was in awe. We had plenty of storms in the Midwest and East where I came from, but not many rainbows, and never had I witnessed a rainbow of such vibrant colors and size. A line from Pippa’s Song by Robert Browning floated through my mind: God’s in His heaven – All’s right with the world.
But of course, that was then, and this is now, and all is not right with the world we live in, is it? Far from it.
No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, it’s obvious that we, as a nation, have problems. A lot of problems. And with 24/7 media coverage, one can’t help but see, hear, get angry, and be dismayed and discouraged by them.
But instead of giving up, we’re commanded in God’s Word to give it all we’ve got – in prayer. Paul, in his letter to his protégé Timothy, knew the stakes were high and urged the congregation in Ephesus to make “petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving” for everyone, including “those in authority.” (1 Timothy 2:1-2, emphasis mine) Why? “… that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”
“Authority” is a powerful word, isn’t it? Jesus himself told His disciples, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given me” (Matthew 28:18). But He didn’t stop there. Instead He released His authority to His children to go and do in His Name. That includes praying for our government; local, state, and federal.
A few weeks ago, thousands of people packed the National Mall in downtown Washington DC to do just that. They came together to pray for our government and its leaders. A prophetic word was given that revival was coming to the United States in the next four years, a revival that would impact children as young as five and six years old. That same day many of us were praying in and around San Diego for our national and local educational administrators, our children, their teachers, and any other school staff impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Why did so many take the time and make the effort to gather and pray? Because the call is coming from every quarter to turn back to God. To once again humble ourselves, seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways. “Even now,” declares the Lord through the prophet Joel, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning” (Joel 2:13).
There’s nothing quite like the fresh, clean smell of the earth after a heavy rain shower. Everything looks brighter because it is. The dust and dirt have been washed away. True colors have emerged once more. Repentance does for us what rain does for the earth. It washes and purifies, leaving us open for more of God.
Dear friends, please don’t let this moment pass us by. Those in authority over us need God’s guiding hand to steer our nation now more than ever. From the lowest among us to the highest, we must heed the call to return to God. Then, and only then, will we experience the brightness after the rain.