Recently, I was out for a walk and happened to look up at the way the clouds had formed and the vibrant colors that singed their edges. The white mass had darkened and a pale pink outer edge had wrapped around it. There seems to be so many things that try to take our peace and “darken our color” in life. I kept staring at that patch of cloud, marveling at the way the contrast of colors made it so beautiful, so peaceful to look at. It triggered this thought: that is what God does for us. He wraps me through life, even when it feels confusing and hurtful.
We must trust in the storms and confusion, wants and aches.
Embrace The Rainy Seasons
Some days, I seem to wake up and have this sunny outlook on life and can truly say, “I am ready for the day.” Those days are wonderful but can quickly get overshadowed by something going wrong at work or someones attitude that feels like a slap in the face. Even, on the best days, we all know the feeling of being overwhelmed and burdened approach just as fast. Like a rainstorm approaching…
An area can go days – weeks – without rain or a cloud in sight. Everyone is outside living life and having control over activities they do throughout the day. But that heat eventually causes enough evaporation that clouds gather. Once they gather and then let loose, we lose that control and are forced inside as rain pours.
Now, I’m not giving a quick overview of how clouds form and rain happens, to remind you of a third grade science class. Of course not. No, I illustrate that point to tell you that rainy seasons happen. You can have prayed and moved on but then those hurts and feelings return. Family can feel close, then arguments happen. Your prayers seem like they are being answered but then you hit a wall in your prayer life.
Or, the big one, we can act like we don’t have needs and problems, hide our aches and problems in life. But then a monsoon develops and the pain is all too crushing. And it normally hits fast. We realize, Oh, I did not have that fully under control like I thought.
It’s A Part Of Life:
Jesus told us that in this world we would have trouble. It is a sad fact, but not a surprising one. Embrace the storm and rain of the season because it is going to grow you. Embrace it because it pulls you closer to Christ. There is a quote by John Updike that says this, “Rain is grace; rain is the sky descending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life.”
If we did not break every once in a while, if life did not knock at us, if we did not sometimes fail, there would be no growth. We would have no need for God. So, don’t run from your pain and rainy seasons. Admit that they are painful and then slowly rise from the ashes, clinging to God’s hand.
Truths of Questions and Painful Times
Many of my prayers have ended in these phrases recently, “But You do You, God.” or “Just keep my heart guarded and peaceful.”. There are many more, too. I think the reason I say this is because I need to remind myself that things I ask, want, ache from, dislike, ALL the questions I have, will be answered in the right way and right time. His peace is what we ultimately want. Questions and hard times, even the overwhelmed feeling from life and rainy seasons, can have beautiful truths and gifts. So instead of focusing on the “what-if’s”, hurts, and burdens, let’s turn our faces to these truths:
1~God Guards Us
Philippians 4:7 reminds us that He is guarding us, watching over us. Namely, our hearts and minds, which are the areas most susceptible to the darkness and rain of this world. His peace and love will not leave us floundering alone but instead, God Himself keeps us from losing our minds. He lifts our head and is our fortress when we can’t make sense of life. (Psalm 3:3)
2~He Is Our Salvation
Salvation is saving, a”deliverance” from something we need to flee from. Christ did the ultimate saving when He died for us but it does not stop there. In every situation you face, every single one, He still steps beside you, right there, to be that shoulder to lean on. He saved us from ultimate death and defeat, so how could our lives and problems be any harder for Him? (Hint: its not!)
3~ The Trials Refine Us
Trials produce faith, perseverance and maturity. The things of life have been filtered through God’s hand to make us into who we are destined to become. Think back to that cloud I described with the dark areas being shaded with light pink. Without the pink or the dark navy, that cloud would have been unnoticeable among the rest of the white puffy ones. God uses all the things of this life to refine us and make us into what we were destined to become before the foundation of the world.
4~We Get To Lean On His Understanding
This is such a blessing. His ways are higher than ours and His thoughts and plans are always better. So, not only does He already give us peace and protection, but He tells us that even in our questions He is the answer. He knows the outcome and His plans will leave us in such awe. That right there, is enough to floor me and make me trust Him for eternity. Questioning and feeling confusion is not wrong, but we MUST trust that He is good and His ways are right. No matter what.
This life offers many trials and things that make us want to pull out an umbrella and hide from the storm. But glance above to the clouds, that sunset. See the mixture of colors, of good and bad, of peace and protection and then rest in knowing God uses it all to grow beauty.