Have you ever sat in a car or house while it’s pouring rain and looked across the street at dry ground?
Rains and storms both fascinate me and frighten me. I think it’s odd that people freak out because we live in an area subject to hurricanes but they think nothing of living in an area subject to tornadoes. Both are relatively unlikely to happen to any one person, but every single time I’ll place my bets on surviving a storm I know is coming.
Sometimes we can see storms coming straight at us. Sometimes we see a storm and we can avoid it. But mostly it seems like storms surprise us – it’s sunny and we’re enjoying a party, but suddenly we hear a crack of thunder and the rain starts pouring.
Sometimes storms pass quickly and sometimes they linger. Sometimes they’re loud and intense and we become frightened, and sometimes they’re a lazy rain for a few days and we get a little cabin fever.
Sometimes storms cause a flight delay and we’re angry and frustrated, but we get to vacation-land soon enough and forget all about it. Sometimes storms cut power for months and we have to fight for our lives and fight not to despair.
The thing about rains and storms that we must always remember – or rather, that I must always remember – is that they have a beginning *and* they have an ending. I get hung up on looking back at every little detail to try and see where a storm began. I want to understand what signs I missed, what exactly happened, if there was a way I could have prevented it or avoided it, who or what is to blame for it…
If I deserved it.
I think deep down I am wired for Old Testament Christianity. Wrath and vengeance and punishment. My go-to reasoning is that every storm must somehow be caused by my disobedience or my sin or my lack of faith. I have to constantly remind myself that there’s a New Testament and a Jesus, and He’s pretty calmly and clearly explained that we live in a world that’s not perfect with people that aren’t perfect and that sometimes we will encounter storms.
And He even showed us how to weather storms – He was on a boat with a bunch of guys and He settled in for a little faith-filled napping. Now I am not into thunder and lightening, but I am all about napping. I don’t get to nap as often as I used to, but I absolutely love napping. I cherish it. And I seriously love rainy days where I can nap under a heated blanket with a good book. And so in a storm I have to remind myself that one my favorite pastimes is also the way Jesus showed me to weather a storm.
All of my looking back and reasoning is not necessarily the best use of my energy. It steals my ability to nap. Sometimes you just need to outsource to a meteorologist to figure out what caused the storm while you go about the most important and most urgent work of cleaning up the debris left by the storm.
Clean up debris. Nap. Clean up. Nap. Clean. Nap. Clean. Nap.
Sometimes when I’m cleaning, I’ll look across the street where there is no rain. I’m jealous. Why is there only rain on this side? Why isn’t it raining at her house? I’d love to tell you I am a person who takes the high road, but Old Testament Beth has a deep need for vengeance. But more importantly for this topic, Old Testament Beth also has a deep need for understanding the why.
The truth is: rain happens.
Rain happens everywhere. When I look across the street and don’t see it raining, I can look with tired eyes and anxiously wonder why. Or I can look with eyes that have napped and are rested, and see God’s reminder that rain has a beginning *and an end.*
That’s a blessed assurance…
Watching and waiting
Filled with His goodness
Lost in His love
This is my story
This is my song