The rain came down in sheets, powerful drops plummeting to the earth, then bouncing back up in a mini explosion of particles that bring more awe to the sight of a good summer thunderstorm. The best part about this particular storm was catching Jen, Silas and Z (6 and 4 yrs old respectively) running out the back door and into the downpour, instantly soaking their heads and clothes, water running down their faces and over the curve of the smiles that were stretched across their faces. I stayed in the garage, my excuse being, “I could video them and get them towels so they could keep the floors from getting wet and messy.” Really, I missed out on this experience for a little footage I’ll probably never look at again and to keep the floors from getting a little wet?
Last Tuesday it rained again, this time not so much water as there were deep, rumbling growls from the gigantic black sky that seemed to sink to a mere couple thousand feet. Should I go outside this time? How wet will I get? Am I willing to get wet at all and potentially make a saturated trail of footsteps through the house? Yes, yes, and… yes! No regrets—I am so glad that I scrambled out the garage, baby in hand, and into the gentle, refreshing rain from heaven. Jen came out to join Cedar (8 months old) and I and together I had my moment to experience this simple joy of careless entertainment.
Jen and I have been listening to Francis Chan’s Rethinking Church and reading his book Letters To The Church…I can only describe this interpretation of the biblical concept of church as a person running out of the safe, dry comfort of home and into a raging storm where your head will be soaked by the first encounter of the spirit falling like rain upon the hearts of a seeking follower of God. Functioning like a family, having everything in common, training disciples where everybody participates, and walking out what Acts 2 describes are just a few of the benefits to this model. Our American culture seems to have strayed from this over the years as we increase more and more in our consumer mindset. It excites me to picture being apart of the body of Christ, doing life together through the good times and bad, and abandoning the safe-haven of what makes my heart feel safe and secure. I hope that we have all had at least one experience where we worshiped God so fervently we were too scared to open our eyes, lest we be consumed by God’s glory. Or perhaps we’ve given beyond what financially seemed logical, and never felt more secure in God’s economy. Maybe it was the peace that surpasses understanding as you walk out what the bible says about how we should do life, even if it doesn’t line up with the norms of our culture. Whatever the case, emotional or matter-of-fact, it depicts a moment when you know in your heart of hearts you connected with the Creator of the universe and made Him smile a little wider by bringing Him glory. I have had lots of these moments as well over the years, but I’m not so sure I’ve maximized my encounters with the living God due to my own lack of courage to step out…
As we talk about storms I have to simply share even the rabbit trails going on in my cranium, so here’s a quick side note into Paul’s literal encounter with a storm at sea: this is Paul addressing the men aboard this vessel that had been tossed about and driven off course for many days. “And now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship.” (Acts 27:22) What is more valuable in God’s eyes, the lives of the men or the ship and cargo? Life. Easy answer, right? Is life just us breathing and going through a routine or is life supposed to be much, much, more? I say we haven’t lived until we’ve connected with our Creator and are living according to all that He has for us… that’s living. It would be worth losing ONLY our ship (cars, jobs, houses, toys big and small… all the possessions we accumulate) in order to truly live by faith in close fellowship with others, hearts set on changing the world one household at a time.
It’s time to step out into the storm. What does this look like for you? For the Foss family it is going full-time with Project Forty, discipling teens and getting them into creation. With that mission comes a deeper call to prayer, study, community among believers and being bold in our testimony to our neighbors and those we encounter day to day. I would love to hear what God is stirring in your heart these days… run out there in the rain, get wet, ruin your carpet… no regrets.