Bring the Rain

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Yesterday, my husband and I were looking through boxes trying to put our hands on a very important document. Unfortunately, that document is still M.I.A. right now, but in the process I came across a box of old photos. I’m not sure about you, but I love nostalgia, those walks down memory lane through pictures. Some were taken when we were dating, some from our wedding, and others from when the boys weren’t yet old enough to walk or talk. I might have gotten a little teary-eyed a time or two. What I kept thinking, however, was how much more simple life was then…

Life before the rain came.

If you would have told me when those pictures were taken that our lives would be in the place they are now, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. Maybe I would have denied it, or maybe I would have become crippled with fear, not wanting to move forward into a future with a sign flashing, “Pain Up Ahead. Proceed with Caution.”

The truth is, whether we realized it or not, we have been preparing for these storms long before they came crashing in, unannounced. We were preparing for it back when those pictures were taken. Back when life was simple and much more carefree.

There is a passage in Luke that reminds me of this, and you probably are pretty familiar with it yourselves. You might recognize it more from the children’s song. It goes like this:

“The wise man built his house upon the rock.

The wise man built his house upon the rock.

The wise man built his house upon the rock.

And the rain came tumbling down.

Oh, the rain came down and the floods came up.

The rain came down and the floods came up.

The rain came down and the floods came up.

And the house on the rock stood firm.” 

I’m not patting ourselves on the back by claiming to be wise. What I am saying is that preparation for a storm begins long before it hits. Think about it, you can’t wait until the eye of a hurricane is hovering over your house and then start boarding your windows and collecting batteries, candles, water, and all the essentials to ride out the storm. Those things are done in advance.

Spiritually, it’s how we live in advance that determines how we weather the storm. It’s those early morning times with the Lord over cups and cups of coffee, before the rat race of the day begins. It’s those times of praying, pouring out your heart to the Lord. It’s the times when your prayers seem to bounce right off the ceiling and you wonder if it even matters that you voice them. But you do it anyway. It’s taking your kids to church when you doubt that all the effort just to get there is worth it. It’s loving people who are unloveable. It’s gritting your teeth through tough days, and pushing through while all you can manage to pray is “help!” It’s remaining faithful when you want to give up. It’s telling God everyday, “I trust you.”

Serving Jesus in the daily grind and the mundane. Doing what is right when it doesn’t seem to make a difference. Staying the course when everything is going right and it doesn’t feel like you “need” God as much (LIE!). These are the preparation days for the storms. Deciding to serve the Lord NOW before the storms come.

Those pictures were the simple, day-in, day-out times. Life was good. We didn’t know the pain of losing children. We hadn’t been beaten by tough winds and heavy rain. We hadn’t yet faced all the pain that has come into our lives this past year. But I’m thankful that we’ve been building our house upon the Rock this whole time. The rains have come and beat upon our house, but it’s still standing. We’re not the same people as the ones in those pictures. We’re stronger in many ways, and our desire is to trust God more fully than we ever have,  with hands and arms wide open. With unclinched fists.

There’s a reason God doesn’t show us the bumps, roadblocks, and detours up ahead. He doesn’t give us a forecast of furious storms brewing. We’re simply not strong enough to be entrusted with that knowledge. But He is, and He is calling you to a life of faithfulness now, in the calmness of your life. He’s the one who will carry you through the storm, who will strengthen you in the midst of it, and who will bring you out on the other side, stronger than you were before. Not only that, He can take the wreckage of your storm’s aftermath and paint a beautiful rainbow up against the darkest sky. He can use your storm, and He will use it to bring glory to Himself.

If God has received any glory, attention and honor through our journey so far–if even one person has been pointed to Jesus through our storms- then the pain is worth every second. That’s extremely difficult to say and hasn’t been easy to learn. But if pain is what it takes for people to know Him, then…

Jesus…..bring the rain. 

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