It’s raining today. It’s been raining off and on for the last few weeks and has caused some major flooding in our area. Roads, fields, and parking lots are being covered – cars and basements are filling up with water.
As I look out at the rain, I notice that it falls everywhere. It doesn’t seem to have a preference as to where it lands. It doesn’t have a choice really. It just falls everywhere, even in unwanted places. It pours down heavily on the windshields of drivers passing by, impairing their vision. It soaks pedestrians as they run for cover. It spoils the plans of many who have had to alter their routines or clear their schedules due to the inclement weather.
It’s raining today – but not just on the outside. As I write this, I’m sitting in a hospital waiting room awaiting the news. My mother is in surgery to have another brain tumor removed. The first tumor was removed three years ago, but unfortunately has returned. It was only a short six months ago, I found myself in a different hospital as I sat with and held the hand of my father as he endured his own medical procedures to remove the cancer that ravaged his voice box and vocal cords.
There are times in our lives when we experience rain. It may just be a drizzle of irritating trouble. The sprinkles don’t really alter our course – they just cause us to take caution. Then comes the season where we experience more consistent showers. We may need to pull out the umbrella in an effort to block our troubles from getting us too wet. These troubles are more than just annoying, they’re very visible and we may even need to alter our direction, or wait for the rains to let up before proceeding.
Then there are the times of intense storms – the lightning flashes, the thunder rolls, echoing our cries for help. The storm of trouble rages on and there may be more than one struggle beating down on our windshield, impairing our vision. But finally we reach the point of literal downpour and the floods come – filling us up to the brim with fear and hurt, overwhelming us with tears and strife, stopping us dead in our tracks. And like the remains of a physical flood, leaving us broken up and cracked – parts of us unsalvageable.
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Matthew 7:24-27
The question is not whether we will experience the storms. The question is how we hold up in the midst of them. It’s raining today – and the rains will continue to come. What matters is the foundation. When our home is built on the strong foundation of Christ, we cannot fall despite the magnitude of the storm. But if we build our house on foolishness then a mighty crash can be expected.
“Everyone wants happiness, no one wants pain, but you can't make a rainbow without a little rain.” -Unknown
Torrential rains can come and wreak havoc on your life – there may even be some loss experienced. But instead of focusing on all the bad stuff the rain brings, try to get a glimpse of the good. Just as the rain can cause damage, it also has its advantages. It waters the grass and the fields. It makes things grow. It refreshes us on a hot day. It sometimes keeps us indoors so we can take care of things on the “inside” that maybe we have put off for a long while. And then, a rainbow appears.
Now think in spiritual terms at these same concepts. The rains make us grow. The rains refresh the parched and the dry. The rains cause us to “clean up” on the inside, and then the rainbow appears! Trust in the One who provides shelter from the storm and rejoice in the coming of the rainbow!
“You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat.” Isaiah 25:4a