by Emily Conrad
Scrolling through the pictures I’ve taken the last few months, I was reminded of how many times I’ve hoped for sun and gotten rain instead.
Perhaps the time we got the wettest was when my husband and I booked a boat ride to see puffins on an island off the coast of Maine in late July. I checked the weather in advance and chose the day most likely to have decent weather, but clouds rolled in, and rain started before we even parked near the harbor. We sat on the upper deck of the boat in the drizzling weather because we wanted to see the birds as well as possible, even if we got wet in the process.
This year I’ve also visited a zoo, strolled along a nature trail, explored a small town apple festival, stopped at a county park, and sought out waterfalls–all in the rain. Just yesterday, when I thought I’d timed my walk to stay dry, my dogs and I got caught out in the rain again.
I don’t know if this year has brought an usual number of rainy days to the areas where I happen to be or if I’m simply getting out in it more, but for me, this has been a wet year.
When speaking of how we ought to love our enemies in Matthew 5, Jesus reminded those listening that God sends rain on the just and the unjust–and He says it like rain is a good thing.
Which, of course, it is.
Even when it’s personally inconvenient, I know plants and animals and humans are all united in needing rain. Living things need water. The nourishment causes plants to grow and prevents dangerously dry conditions where fire is more likely.
Rain is an undeserved blessing.
But even as I type that, I think of how rain and floods have ravaged parts of our world. And how drought has also caused so much trouble.
May those trials remind us to draw closer to God, who controls the wind and the rain.
As His followers, we have nothing to fear. We follow a God who provides for those who love Him. He provided Noah with an ark (Genesis 7). He sent Joseph ahead of his brothers into Egypt to provide for the people in a time of drought (Genesis 50:20). He directed Elijah to a place where he would survive a drought (1 Kings 17).
Our God is mighty to save.
But even when we aren’t spared the calamities that come from weather (or any other source), God is good and is in control. He may provide for us in a way that we wouldn’t have chosen. We may get wet. Flood waters may rise, or droughts may stretch on.
Even then, God is with us.
When you pass through the waters, I am with you;
when you pass through the streams, they will not overwhelm you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned;
the flames will not harm you.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your deliverer.
Isaiah 43:2-3a, NET
My experiences with rain this year have been less extreme than all of this. No floods or droughts in my area.
And yet, the extreme love and extreme promises of God remain the same.
Jesus promises to be with us always. On rainy days and sunny ones, in trouble and in prosperity.
The blessing of His steadfast presence remains with His children, rain or shine.
May sunshine never warm us to a place of contentedness where we stop looking to God for all we need.
May rain never lead us to believe He isn’t constantly caring for us.
Even when I was huddled up on the deck of a boat, my camera wrapped in plastic so I could photograph puffins on a drizzly day, God was blessing me. We did get to see the colorful little birds that afternoon. In fact, the guide told us the birds are more active in that weather, so we’d actually seen more because of the cold, wet conditions.
If rain is what it took for us to see puffins that day, then I would’ve purposely chosen rain for myself, but I didn’t know how helpful it could be.
On a much grander scale, God knows what I need much better than I do. He is good and I can trust Him. If rain is what it takes for me to experience Him more fully, let it fall.
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