Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Jesus, Bring The Rain

Today the weather has been a bit wonky. 

Started out as a beautiful sunny morning with a nice slight breeze, just enough to blow the humidity around.

Then it quickly darkened up. The clouds rolled in and hid the sun. Then the sound of raindrops. And more raindrops.

A downpour of water. 

I went back to my chore, and when I looked out again, the sun was shining brightly. 

I listened and heard no raindrops, but rather the singing of the birds. 

I chuckled as to how quickly things change. 

A few moments passed, and the rains returned. Everything was drenched with water. 

Moments later, the sun peaked through again. 

I got a text from my youngest son. I needed to pick him up from work. He couldn't do his outside job in this rain. I told him it was sunny here, but he assured me it was non-stop rain where he was working.

Before we are finished texting, the rains returned here. I went out into the rain to get to my vehicle. 

I only got a few miles and the sun started to shine again. The edges of the ol' country roads showed pools of water collecting, creating big fresh cool bathing puddles for the birds. 

As I continued to drive, I thought of how the sudden change in weather is comparable to our experience in life. 

One minute we're enjoying the sun, soaking up it's warmth, basking in good times. 

All is well. 

And in an instant the trials, the "rains", come. We're not prepared. We don't expect it. We run for cover and just want to hide. We can do nothing about it but sit and watch and wonder "how long is this going to last!?". 

We all experience it at one time or another. Some more than others. 

But what happens when the sun comes out again..... you realize the little downpour of water was a good thing..... it gave the earth a drink. The flowers and plants appreciated it. The animals appreciated it. The rains didn't last forever; they were just here for a time. 

Same with our trials. They don't last forever. They may seem like they last forever. They may last a few minutes or a few months or years; they may last your whole earthly lifetime. 

I used to really dislike when I would hear people talk about how they thank God for their trials; how the trials made them stronger. I didn't want to hear about that. I wanted to hear how God could teach us to be faithful during the good and easy times!

Now, I'm realizing that's not really possible. Just like when you exercise.... it's not effective without some pain and effort. You don't build those muscles while lying on the couch eating potato chips.

And our lives are the same. We don't always learn much when everything is going along with great ease. 

I cannot tell you how much I have disliked the trials that we've experienced, in the last number of years most especially. And I cannot tell you how I really don't want to keep enduring them or go through them again.

But I can tell you that when I look back, I do thank God for them..... [did I really just say that?]... for they have taught me more about who I am, who I want to be. They've taught me who and what is important in my life. I've learned to appreciate the little things more.... the most simplest little things. 

Would I have learned all of that in the sunshine?  Not likely. I had to be out in the rain. In the downpour. Getting wet. Getting soaked. 

But the sun comes out again. And it's a richer sun. A brighter sun. A warmer sun. 

More rains will come. And the sun will not be far behind. In fact the sun is there, behind the clouds.

More trials will come. And the Son is there for me. Not behind a cloud, but He is there for me..... and in me... and all around me.... and through me.

And I'm slowly learning to understand the concept of "Jesus, bring the rain".

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