In family worship this morning, a timeless truth was expressed in the most simple terms to me.
Rain is a necessity in life. Without it, plants, animals, and people would die; nothing would survive. Prior to the flood, there was no rain, “but there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground,” (Genesis 2:6). Instead, God used a gentle mist to provide moisture to the world. But because of sin, “…the windows of heaven were opened,” (Genesis 7:11) and the world changed. Yet, after cleansing the world of such sin, God allowed the rain to be gentle.
“Rain is made in tiny drops. If it did not come in tiny drops, it would hurt plants and animals. But God is gentle and He made the rain gentle too. These drops are formed when the warm sun causes water in the oceans and other bodies of water to change into vapor. The vapor is drawn upward forming clouds. This process reminds us how God (the Sun of Righteousness) wants to draw us to Himself in simple ways.
Rain is necessary for life, as it provides water for man, animals, and plants. The soft raindrops refresh rather than beat to pieces the tender flowers. The slowly falling rain also allows the ground time to absorb the water before it is lost. God says, “my doctrine shall drop as the rain.” (Deuteronomy 32:2) (sic) He does not send His truth by bucketfuls, from the sky. Instead, by little and little, His words come into our minds to refresh and revive us. “For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:10-11) (sic) Rain cleans the air by washing away dust and other things. “If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth.” “Ask ye of the Lord rain in the time of the latter rain; so the Lord shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field.” (Ecclesiastes 11:3; Zechariah 10:1)…” (© 2011 SonLight Education Ministry, The SEM “Bible” Series, Year 2, Quarter 3, Booklet I)
This principle is vital when it comes to reaching people. So many times, new Christians are hammered with texts and doused with truth after truth till they are drenched. Instead, as the quote above expresses, gentle raindrops of truth should be sprinkled upon these new converts so their hearts can be gently won to Christ. I wonder how many people have walked out of church because of such lack of treatment on our part? And how many people have forever given up on God because of embittered former Adventists or overly zealous offshoot “Adventists” who’ve found the “real” truth and hammered new converts with it?
In dealing with former Adventists, anti-Trinitarians, or whatever offshoot there is out there, our church needs to do so just as Christ would have us. Our characters should reflect the gentle Christ, and in contrast the new converts will hopefully see the variance between those of us who reflect our gentle Saviour and those who try to beat doctrine into them.
“Jesus carried into His labor cheerfulness and tact. It requires much patience and spirituality to bring the Bible religion into the home life and into the workshop, to bear the strain of worldly business, and yet keep the eye single to the glory of God. This is where Christ was a helper. He was never so full of worldly care as to have no time or thought for heavenly things. Often He expressed the gladness of His heart by singing psalms and heavenly songs. Often the dwellers in Nazareth heard His voice raised in praise and thanksgiving to God. He held communion with heaven in song; and as His companions complained of weariness from labor, they were cheered by the sweet melody from His lips. His praise seemed to banish the evil angels, and like incense, fill the place with fragrance. The minds of his hearers were carried away from their exile the heavenly home.” (Desire of Ages pp. 73)
I encourage you to read the rest of Desire of Ages pages 72 – 74.