I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees their fruit. Leviticus 26:4
The view out the window is a rainy drizzle here. That got me thinking. We haven’t gotten much rain lately, so this little drizzle is considered a blessing. Right now the Midwest is swamped with days of floodwaters that have overwhelmed and destroyed. In other parts of the world people are experiencing famine due to severe drought. So, is rain good or bad? To a parched, hungry land rain is desperately desired. To the deluged states any precipitation is a curse at the moment.
Now let’s think metaphorically. We Americans tend to think of rain as difficulties coming our way – storms. Storms in life have a negative connotation of trials we don’t want to face. But what does scripture say?
In Deuteronomy 11:17, lack of rain is seen as a punishment from God.
Then the Lord’s anger will burn against you, and he will shut up the heavens so that it will not rain, and the ground will yield no produce, and you will soon perish from the good land the Lord is giving you.
While in Deuteronomy 28:12, the pouring rain is representative of blessings coming straight from the Lord.
The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none.
Let’s challenge our thinking on those metaphorical rainstorms of life. Can we begin to see even the scary lightning and thunder as signs of blessing? Can we allow ourselves not to fear in the midst of the storm, but to trust that this too will be used for our good? (Romans 8:28)
When my Daddy died while I was a child it did not feel “good.” But because of that we moved to the town where I dated and married my husband of now 38 years, where I was mentored in the Christian faith and given a firm foundation, and where I formed lifelong friendships.
When my husband developed leukemia at age 36, it did not feel “good.” With 4 small children, one a newborn, it felt frightening. I wondered how God could in any way use this horror for good. But over the next 9 months of chemo and healing, I saw that this storm drew me closer to the Father, taught me valuable lessons, and instilled in me a passion and understanding for others.
When a child rebelled, it did not feel “good.” It felt devastating, empty, and overwhelming beyond my ability to bear. But through it I learned the power of prayer. I grew to see the “sinners” and the “least of these” as someone’s child, beloved of God, and not beyond hope. My compassion for those bound up in sin surpassed and killed my judging, legalistic spirit.
May I challenge you to choose to see your storm as a means through which God teaches and grows and blesses you! He uses our circumstances, no matter how tough they seem at the moment, for His good purposes.
Ephesians tells us
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!
If we believe these words of Ephesians 3:30, that He can do “immeasurably more” than all we ask or imagine, then we can trust that He will bring good through our rainstorm. I don’t know about you, but I have a pretty good imagination. And He can do more than that! More than my simple expedient solutions to my stormy times. He provides abundant life kind of solutions!
As we move through this rainy day, let us look upon these drops as blessings! Even when the flood waters seem to threaten our existence, they are still a blessing! Isaiah 43:2 comforts us with the promise that
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
So, what do we do to learn this perspective on storms? We immerse our minds in scripture. Deuteronomy 32:2 instructs us
Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants.
Are we soaking up the water of the word while the floodwaters swirl round our feet?
Isaiah 55:10 reminds us of the usefulness of scripture to our lives.
As the rain and the snowcome 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 my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
It tells us that God’s Word provides us with 2 things: seed and bread. Bread for our present daily needs, and seed to plant and grow and bear fruit in our future. Rains cause us to yield fruit and to grow.
The storms of rain we face are God’s provision for us. Those deluges are His classroom that teaches, trains and prepares us. The floodwaters are our faith-tester and at the same time the weights we lift to grow our faith muscle. Heavy rains free us from spiritual dryness, drive us to our knees, and open our hearts to be compassionate toward others. While we may not want to go through stormy trials in life, they are beneficial; they are for our good. Let us seek God’s blessing whatever form it comes in, and clearly see the Biblical picture of the devastation and cursing represented by no rain in our lives.
Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. 1 King 17:7