Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Rain, Rain, Don’t Go Away

It is raining here in Connecticut today. The rain really is good for us but annoying as it is happening to be sure. It’s kind of funny. I know we don’t like the effects of a drought or the wildfires like those ravaging California right now, but we also hate it when it rains. I hate the water spots that get on my glasses. That’s why I own four umbrellas strategically placed at home, in my car, and at church, so that I will always have access to one when needed. I enjoy watching people in the rain. I know they all own umbrellas too but no one ever seems to use it. Are they unfashionable? People usually just hunch their shoulders and run. Does that work? Does that really help keep you dry? As much as we dislike the rain. Plants need rain. Flowers need rain. Crops need rain. Water fills wells for drinking water. Yes, rain is annoying, but necessary. Water is the building block of life. 

There is a scripture verse that always comes to my mind when I think about rain. In Matthew 5, Jesus says, “For he [God] gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike” (Matt. 5:45). It’s true. When it rains, everyone gets wet. It doesn’t matter who you are. Rich, poor, young, old, man, woman, child, good or bad. Similarly, everyone experiences difficulty in their life. The “just,” those who are “good,” and the “unjust,” those who seem not to be. Why not just have bad things happen to bad people? That’s the age-old question we all have, isn’t it? Why do bad things happen to good people? They happen because this is a fallen world full of fallen people. There is a bumper sticker I have seen, which I cannot repeat. My version of it says, “Stuff Happens.” That’s essentially correct. When it rains, it rains on everyone at one time or another – sinner and saint.

Like flowers, crops, trees, and plants benefit from rain, we too benefit from struggle. We really do. The Bible say in Romans 5, “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation” (Romans 5:3-4). Yes, problems and trial, like rain, are annoying, but dealing with difficult circumstances is where we grow. We get stronger overcoming challenges. No one learns from winning all the time. We learn from our losses. Our mistakes. Our lapses in judgment. Our poor choices. Without the lessons learned from challenges, we would dry up and wilt. 

So, the next time you are struggling with something, think of it as rain. Yes, it is annoying, but often needed, and remember, it is not raining on you because you are bad. “[God] sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.” Just pull out your spiritual umbrella (the Word of God), spend some time in prayer, and listen for what God is trying to teach you. You will be amazed at how much you will grow.   


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