For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
-Paul, writing to his disciple Timothy (2 Tim. 1:7)
Last week on the east coast, we got the rain. All of it. I don’t think there is any water left in the atmosphere.
One afternoon during a particularly strong downpour, I had arrived back at my house near the end of the day. The rain wasn’t letting up, and I was in no mood to walk through it and get soaked. Can you relate? So I turned on the radio for a bit. Then I checked my phone and scrolled meaninglessly for another 4 minutes. Then I looked up again. Still raining. I didn’t care that the weather report said this would continue all night. I can be stubborn in these situations.
But it wore me down. The driving rain didn’t subside. Nothing had changed. And as I looked around from my comfy driver’s seat I was faced with a couple of choices.
Option 1: Hunker down for the long haul. I found a granola bar wedged into the passenger seat. That could totally get me through til morning. I can put the kids to bed using FaceTime.
Option 2: Actually stop avoiding the thing I knew I needed to do. Just open up the door, and walk into my house. It’s water.
Some days we feel strong and bold, ready to rock and roll in this world. And other days we just feel like wasting gas, idling, and staying dry for the moment. It’s much more comfortable than facing even a few moments of getting rained on. But we miss a lot by staying in the car.
Nearly every day, there are decisions that hang over us, that are easier to avoid than deal with. They are little things to do- things that we know would help us live more of the Jesus life. But it takes opening the door. And that short walk might be uncomfortable, so we put it off. But instead of doing the trick, our stress levels rise, and deep down we feel off. Yet we stay in our comfort zone.
But across the yard, there is comfort and joy.
Which feels better? Staying dry inside a small car on the street for a few minutes, or drying off and warming up in your home, knowing that know you can be at rest all evening? Isn't it worth walking through a little rain to get to this point?
Some of us need to have an important conversation with someone that would only take a few minutes, but we save it for another day.
Some of us know that offering an apology would take an enormous weight off of our chest, but we are afraid to call and say sorry.
Some of us are struggling with things that a trusted friend could help us move through- but we don’t share.
Some of us desperately need God’s gift of restorative sleep, but we waste time on screens at night.
All of this and more- they are moments of sitting in the car, hoping we don’t have to get wet. There are practices that you’ve been neglecting that could help you move closer into God’s love- but you don’t feel like it.
Movement toward these things feels like walking through rain, and we like staying dry.
Indeed, much of the ways of Jesus feel uncomfortable at the moment of surrender. But on the other side, there is rest when we take the steps that align our souls with Jesus and work toward God’s shalom (wholeness) in the world.
And honestly, the tomb is empty, so the pressure’s off. Take a walk in the rain. Do the thing God is stirring you to do. We have his Spirit in us. Anyways, even a rainy day with Jesus is far better than a sunny day full of fear. So this morning, sit with Jesus. Then get out of the car.
Jesus, help me be bold and full of your love today.