I love learning new words. I love words in general. I think in words. When I hear a word, I see it printed in my mind, not a picture of the thing, not at first. If the word generates an emotion or a sense besides a visual picture, it is that much more powerful.
Petrichor is a new word I learned this year. After a long season of dryness, the first time the rain falls on the earth, a wonderful smell rises from the dry ground. Petrichor. Sometimes, you can smell the rain before it starts, I suppose because it has already started raining nearby and it is coming our way. It's a wonderful earthy smell, and it tends to drown out any other odors that may be lingering around.
Keeping a spiritual perspective on this human earth can feel like a long dry spell. The wind of the Spirit hasn't blown away the dross of lies and fear for a seemingly endless amount of time. You start to pray for rain.
I have felt this pretty strongly before as a worship leader. I pour my heart out in worship and I look out across the crowd, and it seems to be falling short of leading. It feels as though the room has had all the moisture sucked out of it, like a drought in our souls. So I start to beg for rain.
Last Sunday was such a day. My own spirit was dry. My church family was dry. Discouraged, maybe. Even angry maybe. I am sure we each had our own reasons for our dry spells. But collectively, you could hear the ground crackling under our feet, see the dust rise. Dry. I prayed for rain. Begged even.
Then, my pastor brought an announted Word. He reminded us that we have been rescued. Our one and only most important reason to live is to rescue each other. I could feel the clouds start to gather.
Surely I am not the only one in this room desperate for Jesus.
"Our relationships are key.
We do not apologize for our passion.
We are not ashamed to say we are sinners." I could feel the wind start to pick up.
"We push against the gates of hell to rescue those who are dying."
We stood to worship and break bread. We sang "Let It Rain..... open the flood gates of heaven." I could smell the sweet petrichor telling us the Spirit was coming in grace to wash warm over us. It was palpable, and I was so grateful.
It rained a lot this week. This new word find echoed in my mind almost every day this week. Petrichor. I drank it in deeply. I appreciated the rain in a new way. The rain felt like a daily reminder that the Spirit hasn't forgotten. The rain always comes. Dryness and cracked earth, parched and begging for moisture doesn't last forever. God promised that as long as the earth remains, there would be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night. The rain will come.
It is hard to wait sometimes. It gets long. And hot. And when it's hot and dry, people get cranky. It gets hard to sleep.
I'm here to tell you the wait is worth it. The rain is worth it. The wind of the Spirit? Totally worth it. I dare you to wait it out. Pray for rain. It always comes. I can smell it.