by Christine Sine
Yesterday I went for a walk in the rain with our golden retriever Goldie. I bundled us both up in our raincoats, pulled my hood over my head and took off, – head down intent on avoiding puddles and complaining under my breath at the inclement weather.
Halfway through the walk my attitude changed. I started remembering the delight of walking in the rain as a child, not afraid to get my head and my clothes wet, loving the feel of raindrops on my face and the brisk beautiful feel of wind and rain on my face. So I threw back my hood and for the rest of the walk I relished the delight of rain. I came back feeling refreshed, renewed and uplifted.
This walking in the rain I realized is a very spiritual thing.
The Delight of Rain
Evidently rain is good for us not just physically but emotionally and I suspect spiritually too.
Walking In the rain lifts our spirits. Have you noticed that whereas standing inside watching the rain pour down makes us feel grumpy and depressed, getting out and walking in the rain actually lifts our spirits? Raindrops on our faces and wind in our hair, makes us feel alive and renewed. There is nothing more invigorating than the smell of rain after a long period of dry weather. And evidently there is a reason for that.
Bacteria, plants and even lightning can all play a role in the pleasant smell we experience after a thunderstorm; that of clean air and wet earth.
Known as petrichor, the scent has long been chased by scientists and even perfumers for its enduring appeal. (Petrichor: Why Does Rain Smell So Good? )
God has designed us to appreciate rain and to be enlivened by it.
Rain is a miracle that helps us see the world and the people in it differently. It changes our view of reality as though we are looking through a different lens. Familiar places look different. Well known people look different and in the midst we sometimes catch different glimpses of God – a God who provides the miracle of rain to refresh the earth so that the crops will grow, and people will thrive. –
He does wonderful things that confound,
infinite numbers of miracles.
10 He gives rain to the earth,
sends down water to the fields;
11 He lifts up the downtrodden, bolsters the bereaved,
raising them to safety. (Job 5:9-11 The Voice)
Rain teaches us acceptance. Rain is indifferent to our plans and our desires. I remember once praying fervently that God would stop the rain… because I had planned a picnic for that day. And guess what the rain did not stop. God (and the rain) were indifferent to my self-centeredness. It helped me to let go of my best laid plans and expectations of the day.
Rain represents something beyond our control, like the absurdities that happen in our daily lives. Accepting things as they are and choosing to continue to go about our business of living life in a positive mood leads to greater happiness. (The Benefits of Walking In The Rain)
More than that walking in the rain helps build stamina and resilience preparing us for the less than ideal conditions that we experience in other parts of our lives too. It takes more effort to walk in the rain, especially against the wind.
Rain provides a place of solitude. I love to walk with my husband and with friends, to talk and share moments of delight as we walk, but I also love the aloneness of a rain filled walk that isolates me into a secret world of my own thoughts. This is particularly true of an urban walk through usually noisy and crowded streets which have suddenly become a quiet refuge that you have all to yourself.
Rain cleans the air, and for those who live in heavily populated urban areas this might be the most healthy time to get out and explore the neighbourhood.
What Is Your Response?
Is it raining where you live? Consider a walk on your own outside to enjoy the invigorating effects. Lift your face to the wind.
Feel the rain in your hair and the wind on your face. How does it make you feel? Are you aware of God touching your spirit in the same way that the rain is touching your face?
Taste the raindrops landing on your tongue. Imagine them cleansing not just the air around you but also your spirit and your soul. Is there something specific that needs cleaning in your life that God is prompting you to consider?
Look around you – what do you notice that looks different? Is there something that God would speak to you about through that difference?
Listen for the voice of God in the silence. In the uncluttered space without traffic noise is there something that you hear God saying to you?
When you get home watch the video below, spend some time in prayer and journal about what you heard God say.