Reasons for Seasons and Rain

Heavy rain

Sometimes, when we go through difficult times, we call them “storms”. If you ever watched Winnie the Pooh, gloomy old Eeyore was often pictured with a storm cloud hovering over his head. We say things like, “I’ve got the blues” or “He’s under the weather”, or we try to encourage people by saying, “The sun will come out again soon.” These are called “figures of speech”, ways to describe something that have become so common that everyone understands.

You can think of figures of speech as tiny parables. The dictionary says that a parable is, “a story or phrase that uses familiar things to explain something.” Jesus told many parables in the Bible. He used things that his listeners understood to teach them about God whom they could not see.

In Matthew 7, Jesus tells the story about a wise man who built his house on a rock. Another man, a foolish one, built his house on the sand. Then, mighty storms came. The wind blew and the rain pounded on both homes. The wise man’s house stood firm. But when the storms came and the water washed away the sandy foundation, the foolish man’s house collapsed.

Jesus used this story to explain that when we build our lives on Him, on the truth of His Word, we can stand strong and the sad and difficult things in life will not destroy us. However, if we set our hopes, dreams and future on a worthless foundation—like wealth, popularity or faith in a false god, when the storms of life come, we will fall apart.

Storms are usually used to describe the bad times, but there is value in the storms and rain, too. Another phrase we often hear is, “April showers bring May flowers.” We know flowers, plants and trees need rain to grow. Streams, rivers, lakes, ponds and oceans need rain. We depend on the rain to fill these bodies of water so that we have water to drink, shower and swim in.

When it comes to the storms of life, there is a benefit in them too. When storm passed, and the wise man’s house was still standing, he knew that he had built in the right place. He knew that foundation on which he built his house was strong.

It’s the same way for us in life. When we go through sad and hard times, God proves Himself to us. He proves that He is strong, faithful, wise and loving.

Proverbs 12:25 says, “Anxiety in the heart of a man weighs him down, but a good word lifts him up.” The word for “weighs down” actually means “to bow down to someone greater”. When bad times come and we are sad or anxious, they cause us to bow down before God and seek His help in our troubles.

Just like in nature, we face seasons in our lives. There will be sunny days and rainy seasons; times of happiness and joy as well of times of discouragement and sadness. Remembering the purpose of rain in nature can help us look for God’s goodness and purpose in the hard times of our lives. Our struggles help us to see God’s faithfulness and strength for us and they help us to remember to bow down and trust God.

Poem secret place

arnsberg-617991-mTake me into the secret place, Father.

A hidden place of muted song and raging melody,

Of solace and passion.

That same place, with You,

I find that pours and presses peace into oft unwilling mind.

But that pulls me to my feet and sweeps me in ecstatic circles.

That place,

Only You know the way.

It’s never the same path twice,

To trace my steps or share a code:

“Two steps, a prayer, a toughened knee, three songs, a verse by heart.”

So I come, as far as I can go, the threshold of Your throne room.

So close.

I can taste Your goodness

Swoon with the sweet fragrance of a thousand prayers,

Peer at Your beautiful strength,

But freeze in awe of contained majesty.

In flesh!

A hand pierced, extended.

Please, please take me to the secret place,

Where no one else can see my tears today.

I need the sound of Your breath,

Even in the absence of Your words.

I need the thunder of Your heart,

Even when You do not lead me forward.

Oh, that secret place.

Where tears, shy of human comment,

Flow freely from waves of pent fears and awe.

Seriously God, You want me to rejoice NOW?

I clipped the final thread from my sewing project.  I haven’t sewn since I was in high school, so I didn’t have high hopes for my first couple attempts to get my stitch back.  I flipped it for a satisfying snap that scattered to the floor the last few clingy threads.  I held it to my shoulders.  I DID IT!

I only needed the handy-dandy ripper once for about two inches of a mistake.  I had to jerry-rig a seam allowance, but unless you run into me while I’m wearing it and insist on seeing the underside of my garment – you’ll never know!

First thing I did?  I danced like a five-year-old in front of my husband, “Look, look, look!! I did it!  I made something wearable!”  Then I tried to take pictures of it and I tried to call my mom and my mother-in-law.  To my disappointment, no one answered.

What’s the first thing you do when you’re suddenly really happy?  When you bite into your homemade peach pie and it flakes smoothly and then dissolves into a puddle of cinnamon, stickiness on your tongue, what is the first thing you want to do?  When you wipe the final drop of satisfying sweat from your forehead and admire your freshly mowed lawn, what do you want to do?  You have to tell someone!  You’re dying to offer someone a slice of your perfect pie!

C.S. Lewis said in his book, Reflections on the Psalms, “I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation.  It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are; the delight is incomplete till it is expressed.  It is frustrating to have discovered a new author and not to be able to tell anyone how good he is; or to come suddenly, at the turn of the road, upon some mountain valley of unexpected grandeur and then to have to keep silent because the people with you care for it no more than for a tin can in the ditch; to hear a good joke and find no one to share  it with.”

I relished an hour long conversation with my mom today.  She just lost her daddy about two weeks ago.  After staying with my grandma for a few days, Mom just went home.  This was one of the first days that her adrenaline died down and she found herself alone with the reality of her loss.

It struck me how sadness doesn’t need to be shared.  In fact, sadness feeds on loneliness.  Kept to ourselves, without expression, sadness infects, festers and takes over our minds.  When we reach out and force ourselves to share our pain, or reach into someone else’s life and insist on sharing their pain – it’s then, I believe, that we discover the joy in suffering.

“More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:3-5

So, share your joy – compound it!  And share your pain – let it seep into the crevices, and be absorbed by time and those who love you.  Reach into someone else’s story and shift some of their burden onto your own shoulders.  Then, as you grow stronger in each circumstance, when you grow in your faith and learn to hope in Christ’s promised, eternal future you will find yourself rejoicing where you never thought possible.