As I have been writing it has been raining. It's cold, blustery and wet—good time to be indoors. We call weather like this inclement—“unmerciful”—yet it is a blessing to have waters pouring down on our lands. This water falling from the heavens makes the difference between dry dust and pregnant gardens, fields and woods. Water is so essential to life we might think it is life itself that pours down from the skies. It seems that God formed the first living cells in the seas, and even now our bodies are 72% water that bathes and fills each cell as that first sea did the first life on earth. In our warm houses with modern plumbing it's easy to forget what a blessing rain is, yet for a billion people today the lack of clean water is one of the most pressing needs they face.
Ancient people saw rain as evidence of the Lord's mercy. In fact, they compared rain to the Lord Himself:
He shall come down like rain upon the grass before mowing,
Like showers that water the earth. (Psalm 72:6)
Let my teaching drop as the rain,
My speech distill as the dew,
As raindrops on the tender herb,
And as showers on the grass.
The water that is so vital to our natural life is symbolic of truth in our spiritual life. The Lord's teachings are a blessing to our spiritual life the same way the rain is to our natural life. The messages the Lord gives us are cleansing and refreshing, satisfying our thirst for meaning in life.
The first day of creation is “Let there be light!” This involves becoming aware of the possibilities for a deeper connection with the Lord and for more loving, genuine relationships. The second day, God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters” (Genesis 1:6). The waters involve learning more about the Lord and spiritual life. “The earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9). To love the Lord we need to first learn about the Lord, to get to know Him and learn how to love Him. To love your partner, you need to get to know—and learn how to love—your partner. Many people are eager to learn more about a person they have just begun date or to fall in love with, but often they stop learning after they get married. If your relationship seems dry and is breaking up, it is probably thirsty for knowledge. Learn something new about your partner today. What does she hope for? What are his frustrations? What was her experience of today? What are his needs right now?
The expanse between the waters represents our expanding consciousness about our relationships with God and others. The waters above the expanse are truths that belong to our spiritual life—our values, principles, ideals and beliefs. The waters below the expanse are truths of our outward life—our memories, skills, experiences and knowledge. We need both levels of knowledge, not only about the Lord, but about our partner. So our task for the second day of recreation is to actively learn something new each day about the Lord and our partner. The questions below may guide you.
|Learn about the Lord||Learn about your partner|
|Ask the Lord, What do You want for me and for my marriage? How can I open my heart to you?||Ask your partner, What are your dreams? What are your hopes and ideals? What is sacred to you?|
|What are you teaching me through Your written Word? What do I need to change in my life?||What are your experiences, joys and frustrations? What are your needs right now?|