It’s summertime in my part of the world, and that means high temperatures. Grass grows, flowers bloom, trees extend their leafy arms upward toward the sun. Children run through sprinklers. Neighbors sit on their porches, sipping cool drinks. The smell of barbecue hangs thickly in the air.
In the seasons changing outside our windows, God gives us a picture of the various phases of our faith journey. Like autumn, there are storms. The chaos of change. We cry out to Him and hold on to Him in the wind. Like winter, there are times of coolness, of stillness, of silence. We take in the chilly air, wincing as it hits our lungs. Sometimes His word is like that, arriving at just the moment when the stupor of cold threatens to take hold. Spring comes with tiny shoots poking through the snow. The sun melts and the ground becomes mushy. Rain pelts the ground, washing away the debris. And, of course, summer, with all of its light and play.
We tend to think that one season is better than the other. Nobody wants to endure storms. Nobody wants a cold heart. Nobody wants to navigate the mess of a spring thaw. We all want to live in summer, that place of total contentment. We want our lives to be easy. We want to play. We want that perpetual mountaintop, burning-bush experience.
So, what do you do when the rain comes?
It’s difficult to walk through a mushy, rainy, even stormy season when everyone else seems to be basking in light and warmth. Two years ago, I was in a very dark place. It was summer, and the sun seemed to mock me. The smiles on people’s faces reminded me of how sad I was. Nothing was right. I couldn’t figure out how to get myself out of the pit I’d fallen into. The only activity that was even remotely appealing was staying in bed all day with the covers pulled up over my head.
It was then I began to learn the truth of Romans 8:28, how He works out everything for His glory and our good. You see, God “gives rain on the earth and sends waters on the fields.” – Job 5:10
There would be no summer beauty without rain. There would be no bursting, beautiful blossoms. There would be no crisp, clear creeks in the woods. Trees would shrink and die. Grass would burn away in the heat. The land and everything in it, including you and me, would be parched. So, while I believe that God is a God of light and life, I also believe that He uses the rain. He takes the difficult things, the inexplicable things, and He creates something truly lovely. Admirable. Praiseworthy. All He asks of us is that we go through it with Him, trusting Him to bring us safely out on the other side.
If you are going through a dark and rainy time, take heart!
“He sets on high those who are lowly and those who mourn are lifted to safety.” – Job 5:11
This won’t last forever. Let Him take the struggle and shape it. Let Him turn those torrents into life-giving streams. Eventually, the rain will end and you will come out into the sunny field of peace.
And it will be all the more beautiful.