Well here we are. April.
We’ve officially made it through the doldrums of winter and are on the brink of spring.
I mean, it is nothing glamorous.
Gray, overcast and drizzly skies; murky puddles of sludge, and temperatures that can range from 70 degrees one day, to 35 the next. And did I mention that you’re walking in all of this.
More like, “April showers bring disgruntled and frizzy New Yorkers.”
I’m actually one of the rare breed of people who likes rain.
From my apartment, I can hear the street below. And there’s a certain sound that cars make when they’re driving on a wet road. There’s a little *hisss* that comes when tires drive on wet pavement. And when I wake up in the morning and hear that *hiss* out my window, I always get excited: it’s a rainy day.
I think that excitement goes back to when I was younger. Growing up, my very first bible was called, “Living Water for those who Thirst.” And there are inserts throughout of bible passages about rain and water. And they have beautiful pictures and a glossy sheen. And I just remember always opening up to those pages and running my fingers over the images, and really falling in love with water, and everything it symbolizes.
This beloved bible, with all of its underlines and color coded-highlights, and doodles, was one of the few books I was allowed to bring with me to inpatient for my anorexia. Literally every book and magazine — even a Disney Channel magazine I tried bringing — was confiscated at check-in for being “contraband.” They didn’t want any triggering images or messages.
The only book we were allowed was, yep – you guessed it! The Bible.
But there was this one image in the bible of a person in a sun shower — you know, the super heavy rain when the sun is brilliantly shining? Well this person was in this downpour, smiling, and the verse was, “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean, and I will put a new spirit in you.” Ezekiel 36: 25-26
I wrestled for such a long time, (and honestly sometimes still do) with all the things in my past that were “dirty.” All the lies I told surrounding my anorexia. All the ways I manipulated my family and loved ones. All the hurt I had caused them and the trust I shattered. All the ways I purposely tried to destroy the body that had been entrusted to me by God: I had done my best to demolish it. And even though I didn’t come right out and say it, my actions communicated that I had turned my back on God.
All of those things made me feel like I was completely caked in mud. In proverbial “shit.” Literally. Like the scene from Slumdog Millionaire.
I was the kid that fell into the latrine.
So reading about God washing away all of that disgusting crap I was covered in — it brought me so much peace. So much hope. So much comfort.
God does not want me to walk around wearing the dirt from my past.
He wants me to be clean. Washed anew. Because I am His. And that’s why He went to the cross.
But here’s the biggie: He promises to give me a new spirit.
He’s not going to just give me a shower and send me on my way. No. He promised to put a new spirit in me.
One of power, right judgement, a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7) One that could stand up to ED and all of his lies and false promises.
With a “heavenly shower” and a new spirit, there was nothing that I couldn’t do.
So that’s why I like the rain.
It is a reminder of that promise. That I’m not in this alone. And that God has promised to wash me clean of all the baggage from my past that can eat away at me and bring me down.
Maybe you’re not struggling with an eating disorder, but I’m sure there are things that you can think of that keep you up at night. Eat away at your spirit. Discourage you. And riddle you with regret. Maybe a word spoken in anger to a loved one. Maybe an addiction or bad habit you’ve struggled with for years – surrounding food, or online shopping or porn, or gossip, or a critical spirit, or excessive eating or drinking. Whatever it is that’s making you feel caked with mud — you don’t have to walk around with it anymore.
We can claim the promises of His cleansing rain and a new spirit.
That’s what I see in the rain.
So bring on those April Showers. Because just like in nature, they really do bring flowers in the spring. Rain is life giving. And so too for you and me.
With His rain, we will bloom.