A Little Rain Sometimes
A friend and I were walking out of our work building last week. As we pushed open the door we could feel the sun warming our faces yet a nice breeze blowing just enough to cool things off. It was a picture perfect day and made us feel good as we stepped outside! “I wish every day was like this”, I stated. “If it was we wouldn’t appreciate it”, was the reply. It is true that if every day was perfect we would come to expect it. We wouldn’t appreciate the good that we were given. We need to be thankful not only for the sunshine but also the rain. I’ve heard it throughout my life that you have to take the bad with the good. The famous lyrics of a country song written by Joe South in 1967 and made popular by Lynn Anderson in 1970 still come to mind. “I Beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden. Along with the sunshine, there has to be a little rain sometimes.” These lyrics are so true not only in the weather but in life.
Have you ever had something go totally wrong? Have you ever been through trials and tribulation? Those questions are a lot like asking if you have ever been in the rain? Did you know that there are at least 15 benefits we receive from rain?
1) It puts moisture in the air
2) It helps with droughts
3) It fills streams
4) It washes away dirt from plants
5) It provides a drink for every living thing
6) It cools the temperature if it’s hot
7) It washes cars for free
8) It continues with the beneficial water cycle
9) It aids the poor in collecting water
10) It saves money from buying bottled water
11) It can cause a rainbow to show up
12) It cleans roads with oil marks
13) It assists worms to move around the soil which aerates the ground
14) It can erode soil to form mountains
15) It can make certain insects and animals come out of hiding, like a snail which provides food for birds
So how does the benefits of rain relate to my life and yours? Let’s consider rain the way we normally think of it. We check the weather for Saturday because we have big plans and discover it is going to rain. Right away we conclude that our plans are ruined which for the temporary plans we had they are. But let us consider the blessing rather than the curse that we sometimes believe. Instead of looking at the temporary consider all of the benefits listed above that are lasting. I realize that this kind of thinking goes against our lifetime of complaining about the rain but maybe we need to start picturing the beauty of the raindrops. If we can’t do that we need to remember the lyrics from B.J. Thomas that went “I’m never going to stop the rain by complaining.”
I’ve heard the phrase people use sometimes when things aren’t going well. They will say “I’m going through the fire.” Did you know that going through the fire is a good thing? Extreme heating and cooling metals hardens or soften them for their ultimate purpose. Softening them to be more pliable or hardening them to put the strength of the product in place and prevent it from going back to it’s softened form. Also using intense heat flushes the impurities of the metal out. In the same way God uses circumstances that happen in our lives to mold us for his divine purpose.
As everyone knows who have lived a little while things don’t always go as planned. This is especially true in life. Sometimes things come up that interrupt our lives much like the rain interrupts our plans. When the rain is coming down in our lives it is easy to complain. “Why is this happening to me?”, we might say. Sometimes it can come out in our conversations as we complain and let the world know we are not happy. Of course we have a hard time feeling happy when the storm clouds hit and the rain pours in our lives. Yet if we can muster the faith to believe that God is in our situation and working things out for our good the storm becomes less difficult to endure. It is natural to not enjoy the trying times we go through. We enjoy life when it is going well and endure life when it isn’t.
I had a friend named Herb that used to come into our office from time to time. Herb and I would laugh about things and he was always upbeat. I had known of Herb starting in the 1980’s as at that time he was the Director of Financial Aid. Though I knew of him I didn’t know him until a few years ago. Herb was 90 years old when I last saw him. He was always uplifting and it was a real joy to talk to him. One of the last times I talked to Herb I asked him how he had been? Reluctantly he told me that this last week had been tough because his wife had passed away. Knowing that Herb had been married for numerous years and loved his wife dearly I was astonished by how composed he was. I know it had to be hard but he was determined to not have this horrible loss he was feeling affect me. When Herb passed away just a few short weeks ago the memory he gave me that day still shines. He was that same uplifting person no matter what was going on in his own life. There was bright sun rays shining through his heavy dark clouds.
There are the other kind of people too. You know the ones that are the complete opposites of Herb. When even the slightest bit of turbulence shakes their life you hear about it. It is hard being around these people because they zap the energy right out of you. A little cloud in their world leads to a dark gloomy outlook on life. Instead of having faith and trusting that God will see them through they choose to be miserable. It is almost like they enjoy their dilemma and are the victims of life. Not only do they seem to enjoy their situation but they enjoy bringing others down with it. They are the victim and they want you to walk away thinking that the world is against them.
When I think about the rain that we all need sometimes I have to make an examination of my own life. Do I always uplift people no matter what is happening in my world? Am I a good rainy day person or do I need a sunny day to shine on others? Sometimes I fail miserably with the answers God is patient with me as he shines the light on my faults and shows me how I should be. He tells me that rain is only something I need to go through to make me stronger!
I miss Herb coming by. I miss his uplifting attitude as even in his advanced years he was amazing! He always left me with a smile on my face. I would like to lift others too no matter what is happening in my own life. I realize that the rain is good for me and if I let him God will mold me through the fire much like the craftsman does with his metal piece. When we depart and I am only a memory to you, I would much rather that you remember me as someone you enjoyed rather than that complaining ungrateful person you had to endure.
But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.