SOUND OF ABUNDANT RAIN
"GET THEE UP and eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundant rain."
Thus spoke the prophet to Ahab. No one could believe such words; they were too good to be true. Three years had the scorching sun parched the ground, and the wells were dry and the river‑beds dusty highways. The brazen sky gave no evidence of it, and yet the prophet said, "There is sound of abundant rain."
Ahab, running back and forth, looking for a sign and finding none, is representative of the person who is looking outside for signs and wonders. When the prophet makes a statement of a fact, it is in face of the direct opposite, as far as the testimony of the human sense is concerned. That is the reason for the insistence of "Be absent from the body," "Judge not from appearances," etc. There is sound of abundant rain, the drenching downpour of spirit on to the parched and dried life of any man. The more real the famine has been, the more drenching the rain will appear, but what good is it to tell a person "There is sound of abundant rain" when their cistern is dry and they are subsisting on a few cups of water? No good, because they can show you the reverse, and not only can they show you the contrary, but they can bring a thousand individuals who will verify every word they say. Further than this, they can even bring you men of learning who will prove by many arguments that it cannot possibly rain. And yet in the face of this the prophet says, "There is a sound of abundant rain."
Finally, on the horizon of that brazen sky of despair appeared a tiny cloud, as small as a man's hand. The prophet had spoken truly. "Faith is the substance (the very substance) of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." It is the evidence of the unseen, the unheard thing that is about to be released into expression. "Without faith it is impossible to please Him." Unless you have faith in the principles of harmony your will never become a musician, and you will never produce melody. Unless you have Faith, which in the truest sense of the word is Understanding, Recognition, and Acceptance of the unseen, you cannot bring into manifestation these things. What is the good of saying, "There is a sound of abundant rain," if you only hope there is? What is the good of prayer that only hopes it will be answered? No more than applying the principles of mathematics in the same manner. "Before they call, I will answer" is more than a pretty phrase. It is a statement of a fact to those who have ears and eyes ‑‑‑ a statement that what they ask for already exists, and is ready to come into manifestation, in spite of the hateful appearances to the contrary. Yea, though they be piled to the very heavens, and be as adamant as the rock of Gibraltar. Asking, then, becomes a process of speaking the decreeing word. "Ye shall decree a thing and it shall come to pass." Asking, then, takes on the nature of calling forth that which is.
"Let the dry land appear" is asking for something to appear which already exists in the unseen. But there is no doubt about its appearing; there is no looking for it to appear ‑‑‑ there is the pure faith, or acceptance that it is so.
We are only beginning to recognize what exists in the unseen and unheard world about us. The radio gives us ample proof of certain things which would have been emphatically denied by our forebears. That bacteria are being destroyed by the use of vibration would have utterly amazed our grandparents, as well as the fact that sound can be photographed, reproduced, and recognized as the voice of a certain individual. A piece of vulcanized rubber and a bit of steel can reproduce the voice of one long since passed from the mortal picture. While all these human devices are but playthings to the giant power of which we have heard so much through the man Jesus. We are only beginning to understand that "Judge not from appearances" is more than a religious adage.
"If ye have faith ye shall say to yon mountain, 'Be ye removed and be ye cast into the sea.'" But if you have not faith, or recognition of the principle of God everywhere present, then your saying is but idle words that are clouds without rain. But if you have faith, "ye shall say" and "it shall be so." Do you hear? You who read this page? You?
Do you see why it is necessary to "go apart" ‑‑‑ to bide your own counsel? These things are not to be chattered about in the market‑place. They are reserved for the "Upper Room" of consciousness. If you desire them, the noisy voice must be silenced, and the asinine habit of setting the other fellow right, while you are full of obvious evils yourself, must stop. "I AM the way; walk thou in it."
When you recognize that the substance you are asking for already exists, then you too will be able to say to a barren earth, parched for many years with the scorching sun of failure and lack, "There is a sound of abundant rain," and believe it. What you discover in the invisible ‑‑‑ what you recognize as true of God ‑‑‑ will become true of the outer manifestation. "That which is told in secret shall be called from the housetops." Yea, "in my flesh shall I see God." But in order to see the manifestation of the rain, it must first be recognized in the invisible. "Eyes have not seen, ears have not heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man the things that are prepared for them that love the Lord." "The things that are prepared." When we recognize a thing from the spiritual standpoint of life, we will see it manifested in the visible world.
You are fed with the hidden manna that your fathers knew not of ‑‑‑ your fathers, representing the old order of thinking, the old forms of metaphysics which are dead and which you are told to let alone. "Let the dead bury their dead." You have manna that they knew not of, for they had to see it with their eyes, and handle it with their hands, and they received no blessing. "Blessed are you because you have not needed a sign." You are blessed because you recognize that the Presence is everywhere, just as much in one place as another ‑‑‑ everything in every place at the same time. "Awake, thou that sleepest, and Christ shall give thee light."
You are feeding upon the heavenly manna, and when you do this in silence you will find that your material body is perfectly fed and cared for, and when you realize that you are clothed in the garments of praise and light you will find the body clothed in perfect raiment. No wonder, then, you are invited not to consider the robes of the rich Solomon, but the ways of a lily; there is something most interesting in this. It is the manner in which the lily appears. Out of the unseen. Out of the invisible. Out of the very substance which is about you now.
No one thinks it strange when he plants a lily‑bulb that a lily should appear in due season. Why should it be strange, then, that prayer is actually answered?
The prayer is a thousand times surer of results than the lily‑bulb, when the prayer is one of recognition, instead of one of begging and beseeching. Why should you think it strange that the much‑needed rain should come to the desert? From the human standpoint I know there are a thousand reasons why it should not come, and the testimony of the eye is anything but encouraging. It searches the dome of heaven and sees not a cloud, not a possibility of anything happening, and that is why you are told to "look not to appearances" as one of the first laws of bringing out the answer to true prayer.
When the acceptance is made in the invisible, there comes a joyous abandon. Not a careless abandon, or indifference, but a joyous abandon, for it has been decreed. The dark cloud as big as a man's hand that appears in the skies is enough to produce floods of rain, and so there is a joyous abandon. Hence the command to the poor tired servant‑body, "Get thee up, eat and drink" ‑‑‑ in other words, rejoice and be happy, for everything is all right, and there is a sound of abundant rain. There is a glorious feeling of letting down, or resting and relaxing, when we have thrown the weight of our lives over on to the shoulders of the prophet ‑‑‑ the Christ within.
Within the domain of everybody there is that something which is symbolized by "the little cloud as large as a man's hand." You who read this page, you who have felt the hot, dry winds of futility and lost hope, ‑‑‑ in your life that something is sufficient to produce it all, and it within you now, awaiting recognition.
But the little cloud that is finally to produce the abundant rain has to be let alone, or else it will turn out to be a cloud without rain. Many a person has become anxious that God could not or would not do His work in the right manner, and has turned back the abundant rain. Your anxiety for another, or for yourself, will only cause the famine to endure, for "I have a way ye know not of" ‑‑‑ the I AM has a way that you cannot possibly feel or express. "My ways are not your ways ‑‑‑ My ways are as high above your ways as the heaven is high above the earth."
"My ways are past finding out." Can you see, you who read this page? You?
"If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed." You see then that the "little cloud" does exist in your life. Even the tiny little faith that caused you to venture to read this book is all that is necessary to flood your desert with the abundant rain of Spirit.
"Be not afraid; it is I" ‑‑‑ the I of Spirit is always with you, no matter where you go or what you do. It is at the hell of your own making, awaiting recognition and it is at the uttermost parts or ends of the earth.
Note the word "abundant" in the first‑mentioned idea. The expression of spirit is always abundant ‑‑‑ it is always full, pressed down and running over. It is lavish in the superabundance of its expression. It is wonderful! The poor little measures that you have held to the universe are as nothing ‑‑‑ they cannot hold the abundance of spirit that is to be released by recognition.
Do you begin to see the Abundance of Spirit? You are a spiritual being in a universe of spirit. The flesh becomes spiritual by recognizing your true self, and you are actually fed and sustained by the hidden manna. Just as soon as you know you are fed by the hidden manna you will see the wholesome food manifested. For "what is told in secret is called from the housetops." Do you see? Do you hear? What, then, are you telling yourself? What you are telling yourself is what the world is re‑telling you, and many times that is what you are fighting.
You are fighting the echo of your own voice, your silent voice which calls so loudly to the universe that people do not hear what you are saying with your lips. You argue with your own voice returned to you from the loud speaker of the universe. You hear your own secrets broadcast in the universe. You fight against the injustice of your own secret findings. It is almost ghastly to contemplate, and yet it is glorious to know that it is so, for it immediately brings with it an opportunity of releasement.
"What ye tell yourself in secret shall be called from the housetops." You are only telling yourself what you find to be true, and most of this you have found from judging from the appearance of things. Hence when you begin to take your attention away from things and to be "absent from the body and present with the Lord," then will you begin to follow the commands of the Spirit, "Be still and know that I AM God." And when you are still, the still small Voice is telling you things in secret that shall be proclaimed from the housetops ‑‑‑ things which will make you thrill with joy; things which will bring out glorious new states of expression. So, little by little, we are finding that the way of attainment is not by struggling and torture, but by peace and contemplation of the Realities, and the Recognition of the All‑present God of Love.
"There is a sound of abundant rain" ‑‑‑ this has come to you for a purpose. It has come to you to make you know the glorious revelation that is even at this moment being made manifest to you, the abundant rain of substance into your life. If the desert be one of sickness and lack of strength, then the abundant rains bring, even at this instant, the flood of health, vitality and power. If the desert be one of loneliness and futility, then the abundant rains bring floods of job, thanksgiving, and attainment. Heavenly new fields of expression open before you. The veil drops from your eyes, and you see the reason for many things; the blinding sense of futility has passed away. If it be the desert of financial lack or limitation, then the flooding rains will be in terms of substance suitable to meet all the needs. "Ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make ye free." It will make you free from the beliefs of the human sense, free from your own limitations; different for each man in accordance with his present need.
It is glorious, thrilling. Listen, listen, listen, you who read this page. Listen, listen, listen: "There is a sound of abundant rain." There is a sound of abundant rain ‑‑‑ the downpour of spiritual substance in any form that is necessary to neutralize the desert of your belief. Glorious ‑‑‑ glorious truth. It is well with thee. You are in the floods of Light and Life. On the invisible you are feeding on the manna that is hidden, at this very instant you are clothed in the garments of light and thanksgiving. It is wonderful. It is glorious. You are in the flood of Spirit, of Light, of Attainment. "Heaven and earth are full of thee ‑‑‑ from glory to glory"; you go on into more wonderful fields of realization.
One moment of recognition, one grain of faith as big as a mustard seed, and you have brought in the harvest of substance. If it be to that place filled with inharmony, you will see the floods of harmony and understanding descending. If it be to the place of pain, then the healthful power of life shall quicken the body. It is wonderful.
Listen, listen, listen. "There is a sound of abundant rain." Even as I write, and you read, there is a sound of abundant rain in the form that you can best appreciate and understand it. "There is a sound of abundant rain," and the desert that is loaded with seed is to blossom as a rose, is to run a riot of glorious colors and perfumes, where once the wind tumbled the dry sage‑bush over burning sands. Yes, it is all there; "The mouth of the Lord hath spoken it." The sound of abundant rain is at this instant audible to your inner ear. Fear not. Be not anxious. It is well ‑‑‑ the downpour of Spirit is at this instant upon you.
You listen, this time to the Silent Voice, within. You begin to hear, to act, to "go," having heard "I go before you." It is wonderful when you listen.
Walter C. Lanyon