Spring has sprung! Well, not quite yet. But in just a few days, it’ll be official. And I’m absolutely giddy about it.
It’s just something about watching a cold winter turn into a warm spring that is divinely satisfying. This past Saturday, I spotted a bumblebee along with a red wasp for the first time in months. This morning my car was lightly sprinkled in spring fairy dust… others may call it pollen. I also saw that a white flower had bloomed in the bushes right outside my front door.
Ah! Indeed, spring has sprung.
And God sent me a perfectly timed message to share with anyone who cares to listen. Friday as I drove to work Tamela Mann’s “A Touch From You” came on the radio. There’s this lyric in the song that has always stood out to me. Whenever I heard it in the car, I would tell myself “look up that scripture when you get a chance”.
But I would always forget to look into it until I hear the song again. The part of the song that stood out to me is when she crooned “send your latter rain”. So, Friday I made a conscious effort to keep the words of the song in my mind so that I could look it up as soon as I got to my cubicle. A Google search revealed the phrase “latter rain” appeared in a few scriptures. One of the scriptures I read was in Zechariah 10.
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.
(Zechariah 10:1, KJV)
Sounds empowering, right? But I still did not know what latter rain meant. I mean, it’s not a term that’s in my vernacular or anyone else’s vocabulary in the modern-day world. So, I did just a little more digging. The New American Standard Bible states the following.
Ask for rain from the Lord at the time of the spring rain—
The Lord who makes the storm winds; And He will give them showers of rain, vegetation in the field to each person.
(Zechariah 10:1, NASB)
A few other translations reveal that latter rain means spring rain. Look at God being right on time in revealing His Word just before the dawn of spring! Look at God literally instructing us to pray for rain, to pray for increase. It says here ever so clearly to ask for rain at the time of the spring rain. So, ask for it! We have not because we ask not.
BUT... yep, there's a "but". Consider one thing for me if you will. God sends the rain to bloom the earth. But nothing will bloom if nothing is planted. There must be a seed in the ground to produce fruit. There are always seeds previously planted whenever we see flowers blooming.
May I suggest that it would be quite odd to ask for rain with no seed. You very well can ask for the rain with no seed planted. But I'd imagine you'd only end up with sloshy mud. No fruit. No flowers. No sweet nectar. Not even spring fairy dust. Just mud. Thick, useless, sloshy mud.
If we are to ask God for rain, may it be because we have toiled with planting, particularly planting for the Kingdom of God. God has made grand promises throughout the Bible. Promises of prosperity, promises of blessings, and promises of spring rain. Psalms 1 reminds us that those who delight in the law shall bring forth fruit in his season, and that whatever he/she does shall prosper.
In Joel 2:23, God sent the latter rain and the former rain (fall rain) at one time. The prayer of Jabez found in 1 Chronicles 4 is also about increase and abundance. Furthermore, in John 10, Christ tells us that He desires that we have life and have it more abundantly. God desires to send the rain. He wants to shower us so that every blade in our field is blessed with His holy downpour.
But don't be upset if the rain is sent and all you end up with is mud. No, scratch that. Do be upset. That way you can realize that you were ill-prepared for the rain. That way you can ensure that you'll have a seed in the ground for the next seasonal shower. That way next time you'll end up with flowers and fruit instead of bitterness and disappointment.
March 20, 2021 marks this year's spring, and I pray that the latter rain drenches you. I pray that your seed flourishes. I pray that your nectar is sweet and that your flowers are beautiful. But if they are not, prepare for the next season. Cultivate your land, plant your seeds, and wait for the next latter or former rain. Whether you receive your fruit and flowers in the former rain or in the latter, I pray that the rain is plentiful and that your season is prosperous.
Be blessed and smile, for spring has arrived!