I’m stuck in Metro Diner on 34th Street.
How am I stuck, you ask?
Well, I’m wearing a sundress and sandals and my car is parked clear across the parking lot. This is a problem because as I write this Gainesville is being pounded with severe thunderstorms for the next few hours.
How did I get here, you wonder?
1. I don’t have the sense to check the weather before I go places.
2. A beautiful group of ladies from my place of work invited me to join them this morning for a bible study devotion at the diner.
3. I had the brilliant idea of dropping off my dry-cleaning at the cleaners next door after we finished our study, just as the storm came crashing down on south Gainesville.
So here I am. Stuck in the diner, afraid to run out in the rain and fall on my face, and drinking my third cup of coffee (this one black because I’ve had too much creamer this morning already.)
If you have talked to me in the past few days, you would know my stress levels have had me looking like a robot on the fritz—twitches and sparks flying from my ears and not speaking coherent English.
My mama has been warning me that my soul is at risk for becoming dry if I don’t take time to water it. But who has time for ‘soul-watering’ when your time is being stretched like the last few pumps of your favorite hairspray? Who has time to tend to your own soul when you’re somehow expected to make miracles happen with your obligations to everyone and everything else?
Considering the state of my to-do list, you can imagine the annoyance I feel right now as I nurse my black coffee, now cold. Why can’t this rain hurry up and finish already?
As I was telling someone I hold in high regard last night about my current emotional state, I found myself apologizing to him for not being at my best right now. I told him how afraid I was of feeling so down, mostly because I wasn’t sure when it would come to an end. Would it go away when my list of to-dos are checked off? When I finally catch up on sleep? When I can work in balance with my schedule so I can exercise regularly, meal-prep, make time for friends, pick up a new hobby, make home-made jam, and learn how to sow all my future children’s clothes? (Who am I kidding? I’m a Millennial. I just want to learn how to sow back on a button.)
After our conversation ended, and despite everything I had pressing in my thoughts, the things I should be doing to prepare for the week, to address what I would consider all that will make me better and more efficient, I opened my Bible.
Actually, to be fair, I googled the words from a verse that kept coming to mind, and then opened my Bible:
“A psalm of David. When he was in the Desert of Judah.
1 You, God, are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,
my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land
where there is no water.”
One of the beautiful girls in our bible study this morning brought up the question of why God allows us to get tired, to reach our point of can’t-keep-going-on-like-this. Why does God let our souls get tired and dry?
Because He wants to Be the rest we need. Because He wants to Be the rain we so thirst for.
The funny thing about rain is that we know we need it, we need it consistently, but we could never handle it if it were constantly pouring down on us. This is not to say we don’t need God constantly. We really do.
But, we also get ahead of ourselves and attempt to go stretches of time without depending on God’s outpouring. When God sees us do this, he adjusts his rain accordingly.
When we seek Him consistently, he provides the rain our souls need consistently. When we don’t seek Him consistently but finally come to our senses and turn to Him for our souls needs, His outpouring can feel like a thunderstorm.
That’s where truth breaks through. That’s where conviction happens. That’s where grace rushes in and washes our hearts clean. That’s where souls that were dry and crusty and just barely functioning become soaked and saturated and vivacious with life.
Update: my coffee was on-the-house (I think the Metro Diner owner felt for my situation, seeing my obvious poor dress choices and the lightning outside), and I made a “careful shuffle” for it across the parking lot to my vehicle.
I’m drenched. My makeup and hair are both ruined for the day. But my soul? It is well, because I Let the Lord have time to rain on me.