Day 8: Healing Rain

Rather than following the acronym FEAST for today we will spend a little time “being” in God’s presence.

Enjoy this video of Michael W. Smith’s song, “Healing Rain.”

“Our natural inclination is to bring the most presentable parts of our self to the encounter with God. But God wants us to bring our whole self to the divine encounter. He wants us to trust him enough to meet Perfect Love in the vulnerability of our shame, weakness and sin . . .

Jesus’ parable about the banquet illustrates this process meeting God in our places of vulnerability. In Luke 14:15-24 Jesus compares the kingdom of God to a great feast. Many people are invited, but all make excuses for not coming. At the last minute, therefore, the host sends his servants out into the streets and alleys of the town, telling them to bring in the poor, crippled, blind and lame. He makes special places for them at his feast . . . His invitation to us is to search out the poor, crippled, blind and lame aspects of our inner self and bring them to his feast of love. Here he stands ready to embrace them with love and welcome them into the family of self that he is slowly weaving together in the ongoing transformation of our life.

What a shame, therefore, when we turn up at the banquet with our most spiritual parts of self, leaving the other parts that really need healing and transformation hidden in the darkness of our depths . . .

Transformation occurs when we bring all parts of ourselves into the banquet of love provided by our divine host. Our fearful, angry and wounded parts of self can never be healed unless they are exposed to divine love . . . This is why we must meet God’s love in our vulnerability and brokenness, not simply in our strength and togetherness . . .

For love to transform us, not only must we meet in vulnerability, we must also linger long enough for it to penetrate our woundedness. Snuggling keeps us in contact with love long enough that it has that effect.” (Surrender to Love, by David Benner; pg. 81-83)

REFLECTIVE EXERCISE:

*Allow the Holy Spirit to “bring to your mind the panorama of people who have loved you or prayed for you across your life. Think about what each has taught you about the nature of Perfect Love.

**Then reflect on the ways you have experienced God’s love directly and personally. Picture yourself soaking in this love, and notice what changes within you.

***Finally ask God to help you identify ways you still hide from his love. Think of how you could spend more time snuggling with Jesus, allowing his love to heal your deepest pockets of shame and brokenness. Ask also for his help in identifying the weak and inferior parts of yourself that you are reluctant to invite into the banquet of love God wishes to host within you. And ask him to show you the next steps he wishes to lead you to on the transformational journey of surrender to Perfect Love.” (Benner, pg. 86, 87)

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15 Responses to Day 8: Healing Rain

  1. Carolyn Macomber says:

    I have a confession. I almost quit the FEAST today. I came very close to saying, “No, I will not do this any more. I can’t handle 32 more days.” It wasn’t about the exercises or the fasting part. It was my fear and exhaustion.

    Several years ago I created the FEAST to help my church family grow closer to Jesus and remove some of the clutter in their lives that might be hindering them from a more intimate walk with God. It was to be a call for revival.

    The first time I initiated the FEAST I was taken out of commission in the middle of it. I won’t go into details – except to say it was not an easy thing. The second time I shared the FEAST with a church – I was decimated. The experience I went through caused me to lose 15 pounds in 10 days. I couldn’t sleep or eat. I associated the difficulties with the FEAST (since it was what I was so engaged with at the time) and swore I would never initiate the FEAST again.

    So why did I almost quit today? Since the FEAST began on this blog I’ve only been able to sleep 3-5 hours a night – I’m not sure why except maybe I’m waiting for the “shoe to drop”. My week was extra full of stress and several days were grueling. Lack of rest has also put me into an exhausted emotional frame of mind. I don’t think I can handle 3-5 hours of rest for 40 days. And that is what the pattern is beginning to look like – no matter what I do to have a good night’s sleep.

    Though this is minor – today my muffler fell off my car. Not completely – part way and was dragging on the pavement of the busy road I was on. I stopped beside the 4 lane road, laid in the gravel to see if I could remove the muffler completely so it wouldn’t drag on the ground. Ended up stopping at a stranger’s home to borrow some wire cutters. I finally got the thing off and headed home – completely exhausted.

    I have spent awhile tonight in “healing rain” – my tears are spent. In the words of a dear spiritual friend of mine who has also had “one of those weeks” – bring it on Satan – for I know who is the Victor. I will not quit for He is able. When I am weak, He is strong. I will walk through my chains of fear into the freedom of His embrace. May He be seen and glorified in my weakness.

  2. aamphd says:

    Carolyn, my heart goes out to you in the midst of your adversity. I sincerely admire your courage to move forward in faith, as you acknowledge there will be the full assault of the evil one.

    Let healing come, I claim the power of our Lord and Savior to be the Protector and Guardian of Carolyn Macomber. I ask for Jesus Christ to tend to your needs and offer you great peace and rest as you fall into His arms in weakness. There is no strife that the devil can toss our way that can overcome the resurrected Holy One. We are praying for you and are eager to be of any further support we can.

    As with King David, we are calling upon our all powerful GOD to vanquish our enemies and defeat our foes. You do not fight alone, GOD is on your side and so are we.

    Game on. devil beware. GOD is righteous still!

  3. Carolyn, my sister know that you are not alone in the fight… Thank you for sharing your journey with us…I too have been weary and almost near the point of just throwing in the towel since we returned from Ignition. The battle has been fierce and overwhelming at times… Satan has even attacked me in my house, in my sleep…trying to take the very breath out of my body… I have had enough of him…ENOUGH!
    This past week in worship I was reading Acts 12:1-12… A familiar story, but what stood out to me was that Peter was sleeping while waiting in a humanly impossible situation for his deliverance… He had already been through many trials in the past and knew that God was fatihful so he slept and was awaken by angel who led him safely out of his prison. All week God has been telling me to sleep/rest as he fights my battles and prevails…I don’t know why resting in God is so difficult at times… God has been very gracious to send people who have been praying for me… I know that I would have been ready to just let go had it not been for the prayers of the righteous.
    I join you in reminding satan that he is a defeated foe. A loser, liar and deceiver…There is no truth in him…LET’s keep on the waeapons of warfare…. Ephesians 6…All hail the power of Jesus name…Hold on sister…We are victors in Christ Jesus!

  4. carolynmacomber says:

    Thank you Allan and Dee. Your prayers are gold to me and priceless beyond measure. It is 1:35am. Another sleepless night (even though I took a Tylenol PM – suggested by a coworker of mine – I’m not much into taking pills🙂 ).

    I am beginning to believe that I should embrace these sleepless nights as an opportunity to prayer. My own personal boiler room – if you may. Let what the enemy is stealing (my rest) be to turned around to God’s honor, glory, and kingdom building through the background of prayer.

    I came across this verse tonight: “Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.” (Rom. 8:26-28; Message Bible).

    Thank you again Allan – your spiritual leadership continues far past Ignition – Thank you for our continued call to spiritual revival, discipleship, and worship for young adults. Thank you Dee for your friendship, prayers, and continued willingness to be used by God.

  5. carolynmacomber says:

    Adrienne,
    I just posted the above comment – when I see you are posting tonight too. Thank you for your prayers, thoughts and spiritual friendship.

    Lord, I pray a hedge of protection around my friend Adrienne. You have said that the Battle is not ours, but Yours. I’m calling on you Lord to fight our battles. Place a hedge of angels around and in Adrienne’s home right now. Amaze us with Your power and love. May she feel the safety of Your arms and may You breathe life and strength nto her home and lungs. Amen.

  6. Tara VinCross says:

    Carolyn, I am praying for you tonight. Knowing that since its almost 1am here it’s 4am there in MI, I am praying that you will have rest, peace and restoration of your body, mind and heart as you sleep tonight. Sweet Jesus, hold Carolyn in your tender arms and give her “your peace that surpasses all of our understanding.” Carolyn, thank you for your courage to share in spite of the track record of attacks that come when you journey forward with the FEAST. I really appreciate the verse you shared from the Message Bible, Romans 8:26-28. God, I pray that you would please strengthen, sustain and provide everything Carolyn needs today and in the days to come.

    I would like to share a quote that a friend just shared with me. As we too are trying to make sense of trials that come into our lives, this quote gives hope and courage (like Rm. 8:26-28) that God uses every challenge we experience for constructive, intentional good in our lives and the lives of others.

    “Not without a purpose does God send trial to His children. He never leads them otherwise than they would choose to be led if they could see the end from the beginning, and discern the glory of the purpose which they are fulfilling as workers together with Him. He subjects them to discipline to humble them, to lead them, through trial and affliction, to see their weakness and draw near to Him. . . .” {HP 267

    Blessings to you my friends!

    ***God, we are deeply dependent on you. Thank you for inviting us on this journey. May we see your glorious purpose unfold in each of our lives. We affirm that you are on the throne! We affirm that you are on a mission to redeem and restore this earth and your children! Allow us to see the big picture of how you are working in this world.

  7. carolynmacomber says:

    Tara,
    What a beautiful prayer . . . I especially like your words – “We affirm that You are on the throne”. I can tell you are a prayer warrior. THANK YOU. It is amazing that we can come together – thousands of miles apart – and worship and pray together on this blog. Your quote from HP 267 is encouraging and affirming. Thank you so much for sharing it.

    I wish I could say last night I slept like a baby – but that would not be true or honest. I actually watched the clock on my computer change in seconds from 2:00am to 3:00am – day light savings time. I broke out laughing. Not only could I not sleep, but I was also losing an extra hour of sleep last night.

    What I can tell you though is that God is doing new things in me. I find myself clutching ever tighter to His hand – I feel drawn into a more intimate conversation with Him. And I am realizing I am not an island. God has set incredible, wonderful, spiritual friends in my path to pray for me and encourage me along the journey. I am blessed in the midst of the storm. Thank you.

  8. aamphd says:

    Like Carolyn two years ago, here I am at 2:19am after a 14-hour day at the seminary, stirred from sleep in anticipation of what GOD would have me feast upon this new day.

    What a delight to find Him beckoning me to the banquet. And yet, what an intimidating thing that He wants me to bring along the poor, crippled, blind, and lame parts of myself… terrifying. But oh, the secret thrill!

    Like Charlie’s golden ticket, the hidden parts of me can hardly comprehend the idea that I would be personally invited. A happenstance of luck? A coincidental bit of good fortune? Whatever the case, we’re going to the party, broken and all. What a grand day indeed.

    Thank you King Jesus for the gracious invitation.

  9. Wow, I really needed to hear this tonight. I have spent the last several weeks virtually sleepless, or so it feels. I went to sleep last night after the sun rose. Last week I was awake for several nights in a row… disturbed by God, busy working towards this GODencounters weekend coming up. As I was writing my sermon notes today, I’m stunned to discover these thoughts shared here pertaining to the message I’m sharing in less than two nights from now. What must it have been like for Jesus to die on the cross? His journey. It changes mine. His journey ended up in separation from GOD so my journey can be with GOD. And yes, I bring all of my weakness and brokenness to Him since He already experienced it Himself, He knows it just as well as I do. Perhaps better.

    So here I come, Jesus. Meet me here and rain down Yourself on me.

    Thank you for this touch of grace tonight.

  10. Jody Washburn says:

    All of you are such an inspiration! I was touched as I read your experiences, and I found tears flooding my eyes as I watched the “Healing Rain” music video. Lord, flood our hearts with your presence. Let your healing rain penetrate to the depths of our beings that we may be cleansed and come out shining brighter for you even in the midst of our weakness and brokenness. Lord, you know the intricacies of the hearts of every person who will attend The Journey in Atlanta this weekend. You know the leaders…their strengths and their broken places. We praise you, Lord, that you are going to show up, and work your power in the lives of everyone present, that they may allow your journey (including your longing for them) to transform their own unique journey. Thank you, Lord!

    I was listening this morning to the song “Broken and Spilled Out” and was amazed again by the thought that just as Jesus was broken and spilled out and used up for us, we have the opportunity to reveal his glory by being broken and spilled out and used up for him.

    A friend shared this text with me recently, and I thought of it as I read your stories. Rev 3:8 says: “I know all the things you do, and I have opened a door for you that no one can shut. You have little strength, yet you obeyed my word and did not deny me” Lord, remind us continually that when you open a door, no one can shut it!

  11. suzydmd says:

    “Our fearful, angry, wounded parts of self can never be healed unless they are exposed to divine love”!! WOW!! that is so beautiful, i read it over and over!! maybe because i have those fearful, angry, wounded parts. “We must also linger long enough for it to penetrate our woundedness.” i’ve thought about these words over and over today. i pray not so much for the ability to see those parts (for i know them all to well) but for the stillness to linger long enough for it–Divine Love–to penetrate my woundedness and be transformed. thank you Father for your perfect love.
    and special prayers tonight, and through the weekend to Chris and FusionChurch. may others find this love through your work this weekend.

  12. Alberto Mares says:

    Today’s reflection of healing rain reminds me of the song “Bring the Rain” by Mercy Me… those words could not ring truer especially with the hurt I went through recently, but like the song says, “if thats what it takes to praise you, bring the rain”… Thank you Lord for the trials and pains you bring to my life, b/c i know it helps develop my character more and it helps me to draw closer to you!!!

    I can count a million times
    People asking me how I
    Can praise You with all that I’ve gone through
    The question just amazes me
    Can circumstances possibly
    Change who I forever am in You
    Maybe since my life was changed
    Long before these rainy days
    It’s never really ever crossed my mind
    To turn my back on you, oh Lord
    My only shelter from the storm
    But instead I draw closer through these times
    So I pray

    Bring me joy, bring me peace
    Bring the chance to be free
    Bring me anything that brings You glory
    And I know there’ll be days
    When this life brings me pain
    But if that’s what it takes to praise You
    Jesus, bring the rain

    I am Yours regardless of
    The dark clouds that may loom above
    Because You are much greater than my pain
    You who made a way for me
    By suffering Your destiny
    So tell me what’s a little rain
    So I pray

    Holy, holy, holy
    Is the Lord God Almighty

  13. Lord, bring me out from my self-made shelters that self protect me from the full wash of your holiness. Draw me into Yourself for true refuge. May my vulnerability to Your grace reveal to me the Source of peace and comfort. Give me the courage to step out, into Your healing rain. Amen.

  14. Marivic D. McFall says:

    I am coming to you Lord for I am weak in all aspects… I need your healing hand…I am just revived from the church service today…It’s communion service…I am emotional to listen to the sermon about how Jesus as Lord of Lords humbled himself to serve…the great and perfect example…Help me oh Lord to remember you always in everything I do to serve others than to be served.

  15. suzy wilbur says:

    this is one of my favorite days of the FEAST!! i have enjoyed reading Benner’s words over several times. . .”for love to transform us, not only must we meet in vulnerability, we must also linger long enough for it to penetrate our woundedness”!!! i just love that thought! thank you David Benner for your words, “our fearful, angry wounded parts of self can never be healed unless they are exposed to divine love”. powerful truths!!! and i have given much thought to the reflective exercise about the prayer warriors of my life!! i must say it’s incredibly nurturing to know that there were four, now two still living that pray for my by name EVERY DAY of my LIFE!!! what a profound and beautiful gift!!! it has influenced my thirst for the Divine, and i can only imagine the unknown impact of their prayers on my life. today i want to affirm the people in my life that i choose to lift up by name daily to the Throne–and commit to making that a part of my prayers for the rest of their/my life!! that seems the least i can do, for the gratitude i have felt over the years knowing my name was/is lifted up daily!! thank you Father for your healing, penetrating, transformative rain!!! thank you for letting me stand in it’s power!

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