I was listening to an agronomist talk about the relative infrequency of gentle rains. He had data showing we are getting more and more heavy downpours and fewer quiet soaking rainfalls. One consequence is that topsoil is washing away. So farmers need to use more fertilizers and weed killers to grow crops in poor soil. Then the chemicals wash into streams and rivers in the next downpour. Another consequence is that generations to come may never know the peacefulness of listening to a gentle rain.
The Word of God is a gentle rain. “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth . . . so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty” (Isaiah 55:10,11). The Ten Commandments, the wisdom of the prophets and poets, and everything there is to know about Jesus need soak time. God promises when we meditate on his Word steadily, good things will spring up in us.
In grade school science, there’s something called the hydrological cycle. The mass of water on earth is fairly constant and moves continuously above, on, and below the surface of the earth. Climate changes intensify how moisture moves around. But the Holy Spirit isn’t full of bluster. He doesn’t want to come down hard on people. He descends like a dove into people’s hearts through the gentle rain of the gospel.