Ecclesiastes 3 says:
"To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven:
A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to pluck up what is planted,
A time to kill and a time to heal, a time to break down and a time to build up,
A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
A time to cast away stones and a time to gather stones together, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
A time to get and a time to lose, a time to keep and a time to cast away,
A time to rend and a time to sew, a time to keep silence and a time to speak,
A time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace."
As I sit here this morning reading the above passage, I am struck and comforted at God's pairing of everything with its opposite. It reminds me that not only do things change but they become their 180 degree balance.
I could spend time right now going into a deep explanation of this current season but it seems irrelevant. We all carry the amount that God knows we can handle with His strength. Details don't matter. The truth is that I am grateful for seasons. The hard ones help me focus and the easy ones help me to be grateful.
Suffice it to say this is a harder season. But as promised, God is always here.
The other night as I was falling to sleep, I had a dream. It was an interesting image to say the least and it makes me laugh sometimes, but it has been in the foremost of my mind ever since.
In my dream, I was standing in a dry field and behind me was a chicken coop. The coop was on fire. Smoke was billowing out of every crevice while flames jumped in abandon and chickens were squawking up a storm. There were people running around crazy like the sky was falling. They were crying, screaming, pulling their hair and even running into the side of the chicken coop in their crazed state. The interesting thing is all those people were "me". They all looked like me, dressed like me, sounded like me and felt like me. (Dreams are funny that way.)
Then my dream view went back to the first me that was standing in the middle of the field surrounded by all of the craziness. Time slowed down, I could even hear the sound of time slowing and it tuned out the other sounds of panic and catastrophe behind me. I saw sweat beads rolling down my face in slow motion. Then I closed my eyes, shook my head from side to side and willed myself to say, "I will not run around crazy like that. I refuse. I can smell the rain coming. It's in the air. I can smell the rain and we are going to be okay. It is all going to be okay."
That is all I remember of the dream but it talks to me as I go through my days. I keep hearing this whisper and echo, "the rain is coming.......it's coming.......the rain is coming". Sometimes, like right now, it catches in my chest and makes my steps stall because I hear it so soundly. It vibrates in my heart.
Yesterday when I opened the door to go outside, I actually smelled rain in the air.
Can you smell it? Do you know it's coming? It IS coming. That smell only happens when the heavens are swelling from the fullness of it all and the rain is about to spill over the edge. That smell.....it is such a unique smell; as if the dirt is stirring and wanting to run away from the fact that the ground is about to change.
God I breathe it in and embrace it. Thank You for Your promise of rain, Your promise of change, Your promise of steadfastness, strength, hope and destiny that cannot be stolen away.
*3/27/13 Post note; I was sharing this dream with a friend last night and having fun talking about all the different ways God speaks to us. Through her sharing with me my thoughts lit on a new twist to my thinking. I wonder if the smell of rain is the earth celebrating the expectation and anticipation of the refreshing life water.....