[bl]T[/bl]he sun hidden by clouds, my positive attitude hidden by discouragement. Rain poured from the sky, complaints poured from my mouth. This was the week we moved, and this was the week it rained every. single. day.
I was set up to fail…or, missed an opportunity to rise above. The husband I love to be with is either in the other car or at the other house. All five children in tow for my tasks because Mark’s seem more urgent. We’re doing renovation to one house, while closing and packing up another. And suddenly time has run out and even though the new house isn’t ready to receive us, the old house is kicking us out. And to make things worse, it rained. And rained. And rained. Two inches shy of a Springtime record in Michigan.
What is it about the rain in our culture? It’s often perceived to be a nuisance. It interrupts and postpones. It’s rarely embraced, unless it compliments our activity. Like a thunderstorm in the middle of the night, while we’re sleeping cozy in our beds. Sure, that rain we love!
I genuinely cursed the rain this week. I wished it away like the age-old rhyme. I resented it for making every load and unload difficult. For flooding my basement and yard. For making it impossible for my children to run around outside so I could be productive.
And right there in the statement I just made is the irony. I associate rain with being unproductive, but for Ugandans, rain produces. Crops, food, water. It brings a harvest, and fruits the trees. While I’m wishing rain away, Ugandans are praying for it to fall.
The rain in Uganda is fast and furious, spontaneous and strong. But Ugandans always know when it’s coming. They have a sense for it. Because to them, rain is a provision. Their source for food. A necessity.
I know I should be more thankful for the rain. God intends for it to nourish, not inconvenience. And I realize in this truth that it’s not the rain that hinders, it’s my need for control that makes it difficult to welcome circumstances that are out of my control.
The words of Isaiah settle in my heart:
As the rain and snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from mouth; It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace. (55:10-12)
The word of God is like rain! It waters and nourishes my soul. It buds grace in my spirit and sends me forth flourishing. God sends rain. God sends his Word. Both are gifts of grace to his thirsty people.
My response to the rain was far more debilitating than the rain itself. What if I had embraced the rain? Let it wash away my frustrations, freshen my fatigue and nourish my heart longing for normal. What if I had received it as a gift? How would my experience have changed?
I could ask this about a lot of things…
Our responses to situations, people, emotions — they are powerful. They change how we experience and relate.
#177 Friends and family who lift, carry, load, unload, pack, unpack
#178 A husband who works hard to provide for his family
#179 New owners excited for their future in what once was my home
#180 My mother’s home, the place that holds me during transitions
#181 Parents who come back to help
#182 The sun that finally came out to dry up our frustrations
#183 A living room with my favorites
#184 A father who plows a path from his house to mine. The boys who worked with him, the feet that walk it.
#185 A morning with my sister
#186 A God who gentle speaks to my heart and helps me consider my ways
#187 A God who sends rain