Let it Rain @ 40
Some two years or so ago, Rev. Olurotimi Taiwo gave me a book he authored titled “Let it Rain” (2013 Edition). It was a very impactful book. When we chose the MMU theme for 2017 “Open Heavens”, I realized that both were teaching one and the same thing. But I became more convinced that it was the message for the season when Dr. Soye Asawo, the Editor of the “Real Man” Magazine told me that the theme for this Congress Edition is “Let it Rain”, then I remembered Rev. Taiwo’s book. In summary, he wrote about the nature of rain, types of rain, reasons why God withholds the rain, consequences of a closed heaven, issues of sowing and “Risk Guarantee” in sowing, etc. The MMU is celebrating its 40 years of existence and I started to ask myself what has open heavens got to do with 40? Is it a coincidence or is it divinely arranged and ordained by God? Why will the heavens open in our 40 years of existence? Why should the rains fall at 40? What are the spiritual dimensions and implications?
Mentioned 146 times in scripture, the number 40 generally symbolizes a period of testing, trial and probation.
Moses lived 40 years in Egypt and 40 years in the desert. Moses was also on Mount Sinai for 40 days and nights on two separate occasions (Exodus 24:18; 34:1-28) receiving God’s laws. Prophet Jonah warned Nineveh for 40 days. Prophet Ezekiel laid on his right side for 40 days (Ezekiel 4:6). Elijah went 40 days without food and water at Mount Horeb. Jesus was tempted for 40 days and 40 nights. The number 40 can also represent a generation of man. The children of Israel were punished by wandering in the wilderness for 40 years before a new generation was allowed to inherit the promised land. Jesus, just days before His crucifixion, prophesied the total destruction of Jerusalem (Matthew 24:1-2, Mark 13:1-2). Forty years after his crucifixion in 30 AD, the mighty Roman Empire destroyed the city and brought its temple to the ground.
In the secular space, “Life they say begins at 40”. Some have asserted that “a fool at 40 is a fool forever.” MMU has come full circle at 40. From 1977, when the Union was founded, it has gone through a lot of fire and refining. It has experienced low moments and high moments. The Union has done annual “medical checkup” and has not shied from taking radical steps to redirect and deal with its “health challenges”. Now it’s 40 and we are crying for the rain to fall, for the heavens to open over us and our Union.
The clouds have been gathering over our Union for years. As the clouds gather, we experience a lot of turbulence, challenges and even setbacks. Whenever I want to fly and I see the clouds gathering in the sky I know it won’t be a smooth flight. When the clouds gather, it causes bumps and turbulence. I love flying after a heavy rain has fallen and stopped. The sky becomes clear and the earth becomes cool and vegetation looks attractive and produces a more natural fragrance.
What I see in this is simple: MMU has spent its own 40 years of trial, testing and probation, a time of planning and strategizing, a time of sowing in tears and sacrificial giving and service. Yes, a time when the clouds gather up there and the bumps and turbulence made the journey to the future rough, demanding and tasking.
Now we declare, “Let it Rain”. The season of pain and toiling is over. A new era of peace and prosperity, bliss and rest is opened unto us in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
MMU at 40 ushers us into a season of the new grain (a season to prosper in our jobs, trade or business), a season of new wine (John 2), to usher in an era of rejoicing and celebration, a season of the new oil to secure our physical health, divine healing and anointing, and a season of meat (Job 5:10-11) which represents a season/life of satisfaction. The cattle from which the meat comes also symbolizes our sacrifices and worship. (See Let it Rain by Olurotimi Taiwo).
As the rain releases itself to fall on us, we begin to bud, bloom and blossom like the rod of Aaron. I am excited to be part of this prophetic season in the life of the MMU. Our wastelands will be restored again, our broken walls will be rebuilt and our streets with its dwellings will be restored at 40 (Isaiah 49).
We will usher in the new era of spiritual, physical and material prosperity with a National worship experience in 2018 Congress in Lagos. The heavens are opened unto the MMU at 40, so let it rain.
“God is great, greater than we can understand! No one knows how old He is. He evaporates the drops of water from the earth and turns them into rain. The rain then pours down from the clouds and showers fall on people.” (Job 36:26-28)
Dear Baptist Men, may the above Scripture speak over our lives as we move into our season of bliss and rest in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Happy 40th Anniversary and Happy Reading.
– Dr. Dawari I. George
MMU National President
Baptist Men’s Centre, Molete, Ibadan
Nigerian Baptist Convention