By George H. Warnock
What we are saying is that Truth begins to take on form and harmony and true meaning within us as we begin to walk in His Way, and not merely as we study the Bible. And as His ways begin to unfold we soon recognize that "as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55:9). Then we understand that we can only appreciate His ways as we allow our minds to be "renewed." We are aware that God made the majestic "Cedar that is in Lebanon." But now we are amazed that God takes note even of "the hyssop that springeth out of the wall." No longer is it alarming that people, even God's people, should resist the Truth. And no longer is there any purpose in arguing about it. Now we know that one must walk in God's Way if he is going to understand and know the Truth.
Nevertheless, we must be faithful to minister the Truth. For it will serve its purpose. God goes on to explain that His Word is like the rain that comes down from heaven, It will water the earth and flow back into the rivers and oceans from which it came in the first place. It is not really lost. If there has been a good planting of the Lord the rain will fulfill its purpose. But it takes time... and God's watchcare and faithfulness. And as the heart responds in faithfulness, with every going forth of the Word there is a certain work of grace wrought in the life. Truth becomes experience as we identify with it... I should say, with Him.
Then God says, "And as the snow from heaven..." Of course there is always evidence of life after a rain. But snow? Snow, and ice... these speak of hardness, coldness, and death. But as you begin to walk in His Way, you discover that there are "treasures" even in the snow. It, too, is to water the earth. God said so. But this can only happen at the right season... only in the hour of Spring! So that explains it! Here we were, wondering why we seemed to be so cold and lifeless, just cumbering the ground. Everything seems useless, futile, cold, barren. And yet I believe in Predestination. Sometimes I would like to forget it... but I know it is good doctrine: that God marked out my pathway before I was born, even from the foundation of the world. It seems to give you a feeling of importance and of greatness. But, like Joseph, the times come when you just have to lay it aside. I can hardly deny the doctrine... but at least I feel no urgency to argue about it anymore. I can hardly look at my life, very ordinary and futile as most of it seems to have been--and get excited about a doctrine that says God planned it all that way. But then I remember when I was a child, and my mother was doing needlework. She had two hoops that fitted together, one inside the other--and across the hoops was stretched a cloth, tightly drawn together by the hoops. The needlework looked real nice:, perhaps some pretty flowers, of different colors, all worked into the cloth according to a pattern that was stamped on the cloth ahead of time. Sometimes when she would lay it down I would take it and turn it over, and look at the underside. Then I would turn it back and forth and try to reconcile the beautiful flowers I saw on the top side, with the maze of colored thread underneath: loose ends, mixed-up threads, knots... anything but beautiful.
It must be something like that. There is a pattern. And because I believe God, I must believe that "all things work together for good to them that love God; to them who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He did foreknow, He also did..." I can't quite see it that way now, because I am looking at the underside. The Master Workman is looking down from the top and I have to believe that He knows what He is doing. This gives me confidence and assurance in what I cannot see. But then He said it was supposed to be that way, to believe without seeing.
And so, "As the rain cometh down, AND AS THE SNOW..." Then I must wait. Wait for God. Wait for the right season. People have told me so often that God was waiting for me, and I have tried to accept that, because those who are teaching it seem to be more fruitful in His Kingdom than I am. But somehow I remain as the snow.
Now I can identify a little more with the Truth. There are "treasures in the snow." But these treasures can only be released in the hour of Spring. God does have a time and a season... and a day and an hour reserved for His people. But I can't choose that day and that hour. All I can do is to remain cold and lifeless until His time comes. Then it becomes "My hour." Sons of God must learn through experience that their time is not always ready, but it is being prepared. Can you identify?
Let us go a little further. The purpose of both the rain and the snow is to water the earth that it "may bring forth and bud." How precious it is in the hour of spring and early summer when this begins to happen. And how we anticipate the releasing of the blessing of God upon His people in that hour that they might truly become a fruitful field that the Lord hath blessed, that they in turn might become a blessing to others. Can we identify with God's Way?
Well, we can see buds and leaves of hope and blessing in the midst of God's people, and so we take courage. But let us go a little further. "That it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater..." Now that's what we want! We want to become the bread of life to those who are famishing about us, and water to the thirsty soul. Lord, make us to be that bread of life to the starving masses of humanity. And we have hope and confidence that God is preparing this kind of "bread." The Church of Christ is depicted as "one bread" as well as "one body." But let us never forget: in the formation of the Bread of God there is a process: and after the harvesting of the grain; after the grinding in the mills of God's dealings; after the anointing with the fresh oil of His Spirit, and the mingling together of the fine flour with the fresh oil.., and after the baking of the bread in the ovens of God's fiery trials... then and then only does the "dough" become "bread to the eater."