As i am writing this post the rain is coming down gently against the window. I hear the swish of water over moving car tires in the distance, and there is a smell of wet pavement…. Rain. AAAH after the temperature in the 90s and the high humidity the rain is a welcome relief.
In our lives rain can mean so many things – rain can be blessing to the farmer who worked so hard to prepare and plant those crops, or it can be welcome relief for a brigade of forest fire fighters. And rain can bring us that needed refreshment, the cooling down, replenishing the moisture needed for everything to grow.
Or rain can mean torrential flooding, damage, loss and life changing tragedy.
These days rain brings about a hope that blessings will shower down upon us, upon our nation, and upon the world. You don’t have to look too far to find pain, struggle and suffering. So many people have been torn from a middle class life with a career, only to make less money and pay higher bills. And there are so many struggling with health issues. Like the torrential rain that moves fast, damages much, disease is among us, and some people are struggling to find a way through. And for others rain is not gentle but that loud, electrified thunderstorm that shakes the foundations…
I heard news last night of the sudden and unexpected death of a father, who left this earth quickly with a fatal heart attack. His family is left… the rumbles of thunder from the storm are still there. The waves of emotion surging and flowing throughout every crevice, changing the landscape of that family forever. In this case the rain storm will end, but the profound life long impact will slowly come into focus… for his children, for his family. From the most simple thing – physically never coming back, to the emotional and painful realization that life is not the same, and on this earth will never again be the same. And the thunder rumbles through again, reminding everyone of the change in economics, the loss of not just a father, but the loss of income. Another loud clap of thunder startles everyone into realizing how life can change in a heartbeat… in an instant. The rain has come, the storm has left one family hurting, wounded, broken.
It has taken me a lot of years to come to the point of saying I don’t understand the mysterious ways of God, nor can i begin to understand why he would take a man who is father to young children, yet leave someone alive that abuses children. But I can say i am very grateful to know that God is in the midst of the rain storm, and he walks among the broken and wounded. He is there to comfort, to strengthen, to provide. And in the silence surrounding the storm if we listen carefully he is calling us to come, to believe, to yield our pain, our sorrow, our loss to him. He speaks to the raging storm to still the howling winds of doubt, dispare and depression. And he promises to never leave us or forsake us.
One of the psalms that seems to come to mind is this:
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah. There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early. The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah. Come, behold the works of the Lord, what desolations he hath made in the earth. He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire. Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah. – Psalm 46
The psalm is perhaps the most quoted on baskets of flowers at funerals… at least the first few verses, that is. But the eternal truths contained in this passage are something we need to wrap our mind around, and our heart. God is our refuge – that place we can run into and hide, that safe place when everything around us is shattered or crumbling. God alone will protect his own. Some things we have to take on faith, and some things are learned as we go through hard times. We can grow to know God more as we hold on to him through the tough times, and know what he has written in the bible to see us through it.
The author of this psalm also shows the two sides of water – the devastating and traumatic torrents, and the gentle healing waters.
As you hear the rain tonight, I pray you are seeking God as your refuge, and finding his healing strength for your very soul. If you do not have peace with God I ask you one question – why not? Jesus is there, longing to be your refuge, to still the storm in your soul, and to show himself as God to you… It all starts with a simple prayer…
- Jesus, I can;t do this life alone. I can;t handle everything in my life. I have blown it, things are rocky, difficult, hard. And I feel so empty, in need of something that nothing on earth has satisfied. I need you. Please help me Jesus.
The bible says that we have all fallen short of God’s perfection, we have all blown it. But God loves us so much more than anyone can imagine. He wants to be involved in our lives, to be that refuge, to be the one to still the raging storm, and to speak peace to those waves of emotion. Life may never look the same, but through the power of God life will go on.
Perhaps all is well with you, with your family, with your life – then rejoice and thank God for this season of blessing, but don;t forget to pray and encourage those who are seeing the other side of the storm raging in their lives.
Jesus, I thank you for rain – both the rain that nourishes our world, and waters the plants; and I thank you for the rain that is traumatic in our lives because it is in these moments that we can know you more, and deepen our faith in your character and your word. Jesus I want to life up that family that is fatherless now and ask that you bring supernatural peace, comfort and provision to them. We ask that you would be close to their broken hearts, and heal those deep gaping wounds of emotion. And father, Please give your people wisdom and clarity for how to provide, and what to do. We think of those who are struggling with emotions, with physical needs, and with life in general. Father you have permitted these storms to come and change lives forever. Give us ears to hear what you want to do, and may we follow you all our days. We pray for peace in Syria, and through out the world… only you can bring true peace. Amen