“And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow.”
-Gilbert K. Chesterton
the rain falls outside. it’s been that way for two days now. up north, this might be normal – but for a born and raised texas girl – this is anything but normal. however, rain today seems fitting.
there is no better thing than the day after the rain. the weather so perfect – the air pure and the skies so clear. it’s the weather that you wish for when you plan the perfect picnic date, or your wedding day – or even when you bring your firstborn home from the hospital. the beauty of that day is easily seen and even more capable of being felt.
“You heavens above, rain down my righteousness; let the clouds shower it down. Let the earth open wide, let salvation spring up, let righteousness flourish with it; I, the Lord, have created it.”
but the day was only made possible because of the rain the day before – so what do you do until the “day after” comes? do you dread the rain only to meet the day after with much anxiousness and anticipation – or do you see the beauty of the rain, not for what it will bring – but for what it means in and of itself? you see – the rain was never meant to be wished away –
but wished for. this is one thing I am familiar with – in west texas we grow things – like cotton. other than oil – cotton is a way of life. to grow cotton – you need water – to get water – you need rain. so when droughts come – people suffer. families struggle and people are very unhappy. people are doing anything (even the rain dance – from what i’ve heard) to make rain come. but then it comes – and people wonder when the sun will shine again.
how similar to life. we pray for change, for newness, for new love, and growing families. but then we struggle through receiving, or finances, or schools, or…you fill in the blank. life comes and it changes and with each new change new beauty does come – but then sometimes, days of clouds, rain, and even sometimes thunder and wind also follow suit. this is where I am. i sit in a coffee shop and as I see the rain fall outside, i hear it falling in my heart as well. my spiritual life is aching for sunshine. aching for the clear sky and the pure air. aching for goodness, fresh growth, and newness of life. but i know all too well this process – the process deemed necessary for earthly growth – is also necessary for spiritual growth. pruning to bloom – rain showers to breed new life. its a process that Jesus Himself was most fond of.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:1-3
though I know this process, and the truth above continues to give me the hope to endure and help me receive the grace to understand – it still is an aching that until the sunshine comes,
will still ache. but God, out of His rich mercy and grace promises the sunshine. He also promises to give strength to the weary, hope to the hopeless, life to the dead parts, and purpose to the unknown. He still promises to show us the way, even in the rain. He is our spiritual windshield wipers to our foggy and sometimes clouded perspective. He gives us vision to parts of our journey that were somehow unseen in the rain storm before – but now, we can easily identify. He gives us purpose in the rain – the beauty of perspective to see that though the rain is here now, its purpose is not without regard to what it will bring. and the beauty of the rain might simply be the reminder that the sunshine has come before and, oh my brothers and sisters, will come again. oh what a day that will be.