He provides food for the cattle
and for the young ravens when they call.
“Rainy days and Mondays always get me down.” A great song by the Carpenters. Do you know it? Even if you don’t, you’ve probably been feeling it lately with all the cloudy, rainy and stormy days we’ve had recently. Fall is like that: rainy, windy, sunny then cold, repeat until snow comes.
Rain can certainly be an inconvenience, ruining sports practices, nature walks, tailgating, vacation plans and more. It can be a nuisance when it pools in the yard or leaks into the garage or basement. And it can even be deadly when flooding, storm surge or high winds accompany it.
But rain also gives life. It nourishes the plants and animals and allows growth. It creates living, flowing water that carries that life to plants and animals hundreds of miles downstream, perhaps through deserts and otherwise barren wilderness. Thanks to the water cycle and clouds and air currents, water can be ‘sucked up’ from one half of the world and dropped as rain thousands of miles away. It can collect in underground aquifers for centuries waiting for someone to build a well and tap into it. For instance, the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System covers a land area in northeast Africa spanning just over two million km2 and contains an estimated 150,000 km3 of groundwater – under the Sahara Desert!
Rainy, stormy times in our life are just the same. They can disrupt plans and expectations, cause distress and unexpected expense and even be life threatening. No one wants that call at 2am, or that positive test result, or that accident or incident that causes life as we knew it to end. We all got a taste of that during COVID when life was transformed in an instant and disruption continued for years.
But just like rain, these times of pain and disruption can also bring growth. It’s hard to see the storms of life in a positive light. Pain has a way of blocking everything else out. Looking back, though, we can often see the hand of God moving us into a new phase of life, deepening our faith, strengthening our trust in Him, or growing us in a Christlike character trait.
The Apostle Paul instructed us to “Rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) And he was a man who lived through some very rainy, stormy days. But he was able to find peace in the midst of the storm: “…for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” (Philippians 4:11-12)
What’s the secret? You already know: “I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.” (v. 13)
So, when the rain falls and the storms of life come, and they WILL come, don’t curse the rain. Understand that this is a growth opportunity and look for the Christlike way to endure it, persevere and find peace and contentment in it. As the Carpenters sang “…run and find the One who loves [you].” Pray to Him, rejoice, give thanks regardless of the circumstances and be thoroughly assured that you, too, can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.