May my teaching drop as the rain . . . like gentle rain upon the tender grass . . . Deuteronomy 32:2
I wish I could say that I went to chemical dependency treatment just once and then had life all figured out. The painful truth though, is that this last inpatient treatment was not my first attempt at recovery. When I first went to outpatient treatment a decade ago, I was convinced that I had changed. I’ll never be dumb enough to do that again.
In my first treatment, I learned the facts I needed to find recovery, but I did not really need to apply those facts, as I was fixed. Relapse prevention? I don’t need that. I’m never going to use again. I’m fine now. The knowledge I gained in treatment was useless as I failed to apply it.
When I went to inpatient treatment this last time, I knew I desperately needed help. I finally became willing to apply what I learned. I don’t know that I gained any radical new knowledge in this last treatment. I simply accepted that I needed to apply that information to my life. Knowledge finally translated into growth.
In today’s passage, Moses spoke with the voice of God, insisting that His teaching should be like the rain on the grass. His words were to be soaked up by the Israelites and were to translate into growth.
Like the Israelites, God continually showers us too, with His word. He longs for us to soak up His teaching and to grow from it. This growth is not assumed though. Unfortunately, we can hear God’s word, gaining knowledge without ever applying it. We can experience the rain, but if we refuse to allow it to change us, we do not grow.
To truly grow, we must consume God’s word, as the grass drinks the rain, and apply it. Growth is not instantaneous or automatic. We do not become giants in a day and we do not grow by doing nothing. If we hear and follow God’s word though, He will fill us with His life, growing us into who we were meant to be.