At two o’clock this morning my husband and I were out on the porch drinking hot cups of comfort and praising God for this much needed rain. Rain drops and leaves were coming down in concert. Our street was covered in shiny yellow leaves. Thank You, Dear Lord, for this liquid nourishment for our parched land. The fires in the mountains, I pray, are smoldering and dying out with this long prayed for rain.
It is amazing to me how my body yearns for rain as much as it requires water to drink. Scientifically, the two are interconnected, but You are the Designer of all that is, Dear Lord, You are the Ultimate Connector! I have heard somewhere about peoples’ knees and such letting them know when rain is approaching. Well, my arthritic big toe on my right foot and my arthritic thumb on my left hand started giving me trouble around suppertime last night. So I guess I’ve become intrinsically connected to the weather patterns. It’s amazing how a body grows in wisdom as does the heart, mind, and soul.
In Your Word, Dear Lord, water is a vital symbol of cleansing the soul. John the Baptist feverishly urged the people to wash themselves clean in preparation for the coming Lord. At the river Jordan he took them individually and lay them back into the water as a symbol of confessing their sins and preparation of the soul for Him who would come after John.
In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for Him.'” Matthew 3:1-3
John the Baptist said, “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” Matthew 3:11
I need this rain to wash away the dryness and refresh me with new life. Hmmm … that sounds very like the baptismal process. Baptize me, Lord, with this life renewing rain. Remove any dryness, anything I lack that would keep me from enjoying Your Presence and Your Companionship. Amen
I frequently go out on the porch whenever rain starts and start singing the Doxology, which I sang each Sunday with my family in the Methodist church. Little did I know the history behind these verses. They were a part of a very long hymn, which upon reading, is a lovely prayer. It encompasses all that I would say to You, Dear Lord, each and every morning. Thank You for leading me to the story behind this one verse that I have known, and yet not known, my whole life.
Awake, My Soul, and With the Sun
Lyrics: Thomas Ken 1674 Music: Joseph Mainzer, circa 1845
Awake, my soul, and with the sun
Thy daily stage of duty run;
Shake off dull sloth, and joyful rise,
To pay thy morning sacrifice.
Thy precious time misspent, redeem,
Each present day thy last esteem,
Improve thy talent with due care;
For the great day thyself prepare.
By influence of the Light divine
Let thy own light to others shine.
Reflect all Heaven’s propitious ways
In ardent love, and cheerful praise.
In conversation be sincere;
Keep conscience as the noontide clear;
Think how all seeing God thy ways
And all thy secret thoughts surveys.
Wake, and lift up thyself, my heart,
And with the angels bear thy part,
Who all night long unwearied sing
High praise to the eternal King.
All praise to Thee, who safe has kept
And hast refreshed me while I slept
Grant, Lord, when I from death shall wake
I may of endless light partake.
Heav’n is, dear Lord, where’er Thou art,
O never then from me depart;
For to my soul ’tis hell to be
But for one moment void of Thee.
Lord, I my vows to Thee renew;
Disperse my sins as morning dew.
Guard my first springs of thought and will,
And with Thyself my spirit fill.
Direct, control, suggest, this day,
All I design, or do, or say,
That all my powers, with all their might,
In Thy sole glory may unite.
I would not wake nor rise again
And Heaven itself I would disdain,
Wert Thou not there to be enjoyed,
And I in hymns to be employed.
Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.