THERE SHALL BE SHOWERS OF BLESSING
There shall be showers of blessing: This is the promise of love;
There shall be seasons refreshing, Sent from the Savior above.
Showers of blessing, Showers of blessing we need:
Mercy drops round us are falling, But for the showers we plead.
There shall be showers of blessing, Precious reviving again;
Over the hills and the valleys, Sound of abundance of rain.
There shall be showers of blessing; Send them upon us, O Lord;
Grant to us now a refreshing, Come, and now honor Thy Word.
There shall be showers of blessing: Oh, that today they might fall,
Now as to God we’re confessing, Now as on Jesus we call!
There shall be showers of blessing, If we but trust and obey;
There shall be seasons refreshing, If we let God have His way
Written in the 1800′s by Daniel Webster Whittle, this particular hymn is based upon the scripture found in Ezekiel 34:26-27 which reads “I will make them and the places surrounding my hill a blessing. I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing. The trees will yield their fruit and the ground will yield its crops; the people will be secure in their land. They will know that I am the Lord, when I break the bars of their yoke and rescue them from the hands of those who enslaved them.” I was reminded of this song as we have had consistent rain in Cleveland, Tennessee over the past weekend.
Daniel Webster Whittle was named after the famous American politician – Daniel Webster. Whittle became a major in the Civil War, and was known as Major Whittle for the rest of his life. You will often times see this hymn written under one of his pseudonyms – El Nathan (kind of sounds like a tropical storm to me). The story of his conversion is a powerful one. Major Whittle lost his right arm in the Civil War and spent time as a prisoner of war. While recovering from wounds incurred during the war, he was in a hospital and came across a New Testament. Although he read it and was convicted by the words, he was unwilling to surrender his life to Christ. One night, an orderly woke him up and asked him to come and pray for a dying soldier. Whittle initially declined. The orderly told him that he thought he was a Christian because he saw him reading the Bible. Conviction set in and, Major Whittle agreed to go. Here’s his testimony about that incident in his own words:
“I dropped on my knees and held the boy’s hand in mine. In a few broken words I confessed my sins and asked Christ to forgive me. I believed right there that He did forgive me. I then prayed earnestly for the boy. He became quiet and pressed my hand as I prayed and pleaded God’s promises. When I arose from my knees, he was dead. A look of peace had come over his troubled face, and I cannot but believe that God who used him to bring me to the Savior, used me to lead him to trust Christ’s precious blood and find pardon. I hope to meet him in heaven.”
To me Daniel Whittle received showers of blessing in his life. The blessing of God’s word in the form of a New Testament. The blessing of the Lord orchestrating a powerful encounter in a military hospital. The blessing of being brought to the point where he was faced with death and the challenge of where his soul will spend eternity. And most importantly, he was showered with the blessing of God’s grace and forgiveness. What a powerful testimony!
Couple of comments on the lyrics:
“Sound of abundance of rain” – This particular phrasing is based upon the story of Elijah the prophet found in I Kings 18. The land was in drought. Elijah had challenged and mocked the prophets of Baal regarding the promise of God. During the midst of a drought, Elijah poured four barrels of water on the altar that he had prepared. God answered Elijah’s prayer, consumed the sacrifice and the wood, and the water. Shortly thereafter, Elijah told King Ahab that he heard the sound of abundance of rain. Elijah was a man of faith. He hadn’t seen a cloud. He hadn’t felt rain drops. He prayed, and prayed, and prayed – 7 times until the rain came. And when God sent the rain, it wasn’t just a brief rain, but an abundance of rain. God promises blessing in our lives. God sends blessings to us – showers of blessings. Material blessings. Spiritual blessings. Relationship blessings. The Word of God and the preached word. An abundance of blessings – pressed down, shaken together and running over.
“Mercy drops round us are falling” – Hosea 10:12 says “Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.” The Bible promises that the Lord will rain righteousness down for those that sow righteousness. For those that seek the Lord. I believe God is constantly raining drops of mercy around us. We should be looking for those drops of mercy. To be thankful for the little things God does in our lives everyday. Those little brief showers of His grace and mercy that remind us of how good our God is, and they should take us to a place of praise and thankfulness.
How do you view the blessings of God in your life?
“A drought” – This is place where you feel like God has forgotten you. Maybe your are in a spiritual drought, and your life is dry and parched.
“Scattered showers” – This is the place where you occasionally see and feel scattered showers of blessing. Not enough to water the dry ground. Not enough to cool and refresh you.
“Steady downpour” – This is the kind of life where God showers blessings on you. You recognize the big blessings – life, health, salvation, the Bible, family and Church. You also recognize the small blessings. The singing of a bird. The smile from your child or grandchildren. An old hymn from the past. It is life flooded with the blessings of God.
I pray for you to have a “rainy” forecast. For showers of blessings in your life. Get out your umbrella. There shall be showers of blessing. Chance of rain – 100%. Sound of abundance of rain.