“The natives showed us extraordinary kindness; for because of the rain that had set in and because of the cold, they kindled a fire and received us all.”
I took this picture while I was sick at a retreat. The sound of worship could be heard in the building a few yards away but I was separated from it all, in misery. To add to this moment of pain I heard the water droplets start falling on the car I was in. They clung to it, only sliding down the glass once they had combined with other droplets. I watched this for a while and thought the phrase, “when it rains it pours…” My plans to enjoy the retreat fueled by the rain made me feel dispirited. The cloudy sky and constant rain can tend to make things seem worse. I’ve experienced “bad” sunny days and it never seems as fitting as when the sun is shrouded and the thunder moves the earth under your feet. It’s like the world is crying with you on days like that. Not that I was that upset at the retreat, but when moments like this happen and prayer seems to go unheard, it can make me wonder what is wrong with me that I would let satan win so easily.
Who is he to tell me what day I will have, or how I will feel? I know, sometimes we get sick, but I tend to believe that some illnesses are not by coincidence. I believe he wanted to keep me from receiving something inside the church walls only yards away and I let him keep me from it!
And then there is the rain, why is it symbolic of depression? In biblical times, rain meant life. Without it, crops wouldn’t grow and people wouldn’t have water to drink. Often, punishment for a land in rebellion against God was for the life-giving rain to stop. This reminded the people that it was God who gave life and could easily take it. It may seem harsh, but imagine it, people cursing God with the same mouth they ate and drank His sustenance from. Rain stood for life, renewal, and God’s care. Today, in the western world, away from the deserts of our ancestors, we can forget the importance of rain. Farmers remember it well, but the common man or woman in their daily rush see rain as an inconvenience and a sign that their day might be cloudy in more ways than one.
I should’ve seen the rain droplets on the window in a different way…I should’ve realized that God was just as present in that car than in that church building. What an opportunity I missed! …I must say, this post is just as much for me as it is for you. I’ve learned that God can make a lesson out of anything, and the more lessons we take notice of and remember, the less we have to repeat in the future. He showed me that every day spent with Him can be a day of learning and growing. I used to believe that I could only learn and grow at some seminar or bible study, this isn’t true! Though much can be learned through fellowship with other Christians, God never intended for that to be the only way to growth and learning.
There comes a time we must do what we have learned. And often that involves us stepping out and making decisions on our own, physically. However, the Holy Spirit is our constant companion spiritually, He helps us and guides us even while we are facing giants alone. That same mighty Holy Spirit is in you, and He was in me, even while I was curled up in misery. Our problem is we put to much stock in the world we see when we need to focus more on the one we don’t see. Maybe then we will realize what’s truly going on when we see someone who is broken. Drugs aren’t the problem, guns aren’t the problem, money isn’t the problem…the list goes on. If we truly looked at the world’s problems through the eyes of the Holy Spirit we would see demons and angels battling over souls. Whispers of lies and hatred trying to override the voices of truth and love.
The rain is just rain. I remember the first time I jumped in a puddle after a rainstorm, I was only a kid and yet, like all children, I had seen the rainstorm as only another opportunity to play. I could’ve stayed in and chose to be sad and bored, but that’s just it. We choose what we will do with each new day and its unpredictable circumstances. Being happy is a choice, not an outcome of everything going right all the time. We decide what we will think and do, and that is what makes our day either good or bad.
Next time it rains in your life, try and see it as an opportunity. A challenge even, to be twice as happy. Become the sunshine to your co-workers and friends. Choose to see things in a new way, and you will find joy. Ask God for help, from where He sits, there is no rain or sunshine, only His magnificent glory. And Jesus, who has been a man and has suffered the worst of days, He understands you but He also sees what is possible for you. We simply weren’t made to shrink in the shadows of our enemies, we were made to rise up and crush them. Take authority over your day, and thank God…whether it rains or shines because each day is a gift…and a lesson to remember.
Thank you, God, for rain.