They say that the rain from this rainy season completely relieved Southern California's long standing drought. It has been 12 years since I came to this region, and I have never seen it rain so hard. They say that temporarily there's no need to worry as snow has completely built up in Southern California's main water resource: the Sierra Nevada. It may have been a little difficult on your morning commute or even coming to church, but I'm sure that the news that we are no longer in a drought is welcome at the very least. I'm not sure why, but the feeling I get when thinking of our overflowing storage of water is reminiscent of the good old days when we'd fill our washbowls with water from a tinkering hose that could shut off at any moment.
I have many marginal spaces in my Bible. I purposely chose this Bible so I would be able to write notes within the margins. I can recollect the times when looking upon the note filled margins and receiving grace with glee. I get eager looking at blank margins, wondering what kind of grace is going to fill those spaces. My heart fills with as much expectation as there are blank spaces in my heart to fill with grace as well.
I often think of revivals as a heavy outpouring of rain to relieve a drought of the soul. The time in the creating of margins for God amidst a busy lifestyle of running to and fro is precisely what a revival is. Just as a drought-filled, cracked surface closes in again after receiving a heavy rain of grace, the thirsty soul is quenched and soaked with grace, as well. I'm sure the sermons by the senior pastor are still great, but habitual preaching and the boredom due to the preacher's lack of experience is hard to ignore. At times like these, as if a refreshing rain is sweeping over, the message by our guest speaker from Virginia is more than enough to bring a shower of grace to our souls. Just as the Sierra Nevada mountain range that continues to provide water for us annually is covered in snow, this revival quenched the annual thirst of our souls with an overflowing grace.
If grace builds up within our souls, just like my Bible, you will see margins appear in your life as well. Margins are not merely blank spaces. Just as the scattered clouds show us the margins of the great blue sky, the dark clouds of the most difficult times in our lives contrarily enables us to feel the margins so we can glance at the sky. At times, we must sail through the storms of tough sufferings in our lives, but we can also regard it as grace as we gain the vantage point to see the margins of the vast blue sea. It's the grace of being able to breathe in life, and not falling in despair due to suffering.
I pray that you come to the last service of our revival at 2pm today to experience the outpouring of grace to relieve you from the drought of your own soul. I hope you find the air to breathe in your own life as you fly through the great blue sky enjoying the clouds that highlight that very same blue sky.
Rev. Bryan Kim is the lead pastor of Bethel Korean Church, located in Irvine, CA.