The downpour. The seemingly never ending gloom. The thunderstorms of life that can come out of nowhere, developing overhead without so much as a moment’s notice. Or the storms that are looming ahead on your radar, with plenty of warning, but no way to stop the dreaded showers that are heading your way.
Have you ever wondered why it seems as if when it rains, it pours? I mean, you’re walking along this twisted path, this journey we call life, and everything seems fabulous. The sun is shining on your upturned face, you can feel the warmth in your soul, and then BAM…
It hits you. It’s raining. It’s pouring. And it’s not just any rain. You’re not getting a soft drizzle, not a kind, refreshing sprinkle on a hot summer day, but you’re being drenched in a downright mean and cold, torrential downpour. The type of rain that stings as it pelts your skin, it’s icy prickles stabbing you, soaking through your clothes, leeching all the warmth from your bones. The type of storm that just steals all of your joy.
These are the rainy days of life. You know, the storms that pop up when you are so proud of yourself for finally buying four brand new tires for your vehicle, and actually filling your tank to that “F”. But then the next day, you total your car. Not only that, your insurance isn’t going to cover the damage, because you just paid that same car off and dropped it down to liability, to save yourself some money. Adding insult to injury, your work schedule recently changed, so it is now next to impossible to work out a plan to get a ride to work on a regular basis. Yep. When it rains, it pours.
Or try this one on for size. You decide to buy a house, because you feel that you’re investing in something, and you no longer want to pay rent. You save and save, you move in, your world is full of rainbows and lollipops, you’re just dancing on cloud nine. And then, here comes the storm. It hits you full force with winds and rain like a tornado, except you didn’t hear the sirens. You had zero warning. You find out that your air conditioner and your furnace are completely shot, and there goes that last little bit of your savings. The following day, after a complete plumbing nightmare, you find out your entire sewer line needs to be replaced. Immediately. Except… You don’t have the money for it all. Top that off with a nice slice of getting laid off from work, and you feel as if you are just drowning in the floodwaters, and the debt. Truly, when it rains, it pours.
Maybe your storm goes a little like this one: the one where you twinge a little muscle in your back at work? No biggie, you’ve strained your back before. You’re a hard worker. You don’t say anything at work, you just go home and pop a couple of over the counter pain relievers, and decide to rest up. You think you just overdid it, nothing that a heating pad won’t fix. Except the heating pad doesn’t fix it. The pain? It gets worse. It tingles. You have numbness. Then it explodes. You’re suddenly walking around like you’re ninety-three years old, afraid to move the wrong way. You visit the doctor, who schedules an MRI, and your insurance deductible hasn’t been met, so it costs an arm and a leg. You pay, then find out that you have not one, but two herniated discs in your back. Just wonderful, right? Well then you report your findings to your employer, the same one you didn’t say anything to before, because you didn’t want to be a “bother” to them? Then they deny your workman’s comp, because you didn’t report your injury right away. Getting fixed is going to be all out of pocket now. And the storm? It’s building. You just found out your father has cancer, and has to have surgery, immediately. You need your back to be healthy now more than ever, because he needs you. All that land he has? The horses? The chores that he has always handled like a super hero? It’s all on you now, and you can hardly get out of bed. You’re hurting. You’re scared for him, about him. I’m telling you, when it rains, it pours.
We’ve all been there before. Caught in the rain, with no umbrella to keep us dry, with no shelter to protect us from the winds and the hail. We’ve experienced situations like being short on rent, with hospital bills coming nonstop in the mail. Or you lose a pet, and then a family member in the same week. Your income has gone down, and your bills have gone up. You’re ready to start a family, and finally stop taking that little pill you’ve been swallowing faithfully for years, only to find out you never needed it in the first place, because you’re infertile, and now every girl you know is announcing their glowing pregnancy on social media. When it rains, it pours.
These storms, how they hurt. They seem never-ending, and you can’t see past the sheets of rain pouring down, to the sun that’s just past the storm. You’re drowning in debt, in pain, in problems. It’s one thing after another, after another. A vicious repetitive cycle of gloom. All you want is a break, a peak of blue sky and sunshine, but the light is nowhere in sight. The dark, the wet, the dreary rain seems to go on forever.
Forever is over.
You’ve made it. You’re here. You survived the storm, and you may or may not have rainbows, but you have a newfound resilience. You have strength, a strength you didn’t know you had. Those storms? They were necessary. They are the hard, but important lessons of life.
I guarantee if you look back on every significant storm you have weathered through, you have learned something vitally important, about yourself or about others. The rain made you bloom. Just like the rain brings about growth in nature, it brings growth inside of you.
If you caused your own storms, you have now learned how to prevent them, and hopefully have put that knowledge to use. If you were previously unprepared for a storm, most likely you are a better prepared person, now. If that downpour took a family member, or a friend, or a pet, that storm that’s tearing up your heart will end. The sun will shine again, albeit differently, but just as beautifully as before. You’ll look up at those beautiful clouds on a beautiful day, and you will think of your loved one, and you will smile, I promise you. One day, the sun will reappear, because even the hardest storms always come to an end. If you’re weathering a storm that washed something or someone away from you, and shattered your heart into a trillion little pieces, you will be whole again. When the days are brighter and the puddles have disappeared, you’ll dig through the mess, all the scattered debris, and realize something vitally important. You’ll realize that any storm that rips a relationship apart was a relationship that wasn’t worth having. You’ll realize that real love survives the storms, big and small. You’ll find the real pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, except he or she wasn’t sent by a leprechaun, but by God, just like God sends us the rainbow. Let the leprechauns go, and hold out for the right one, because the real gold is far more valuable than any of the junk that came before it.
How do I know? All those little hypotheticals I wrote about above? They’ve happened in my life. I’ve been through the pouring rain, and so much more. I may have been broken, battered and bruised, but I’m still here, and I’m still kicking. I’ve been on the brink of utter despair, and something always pulled me back.
That something was God. There have been the situations where He stepped in immediately ( you can read one of my previous posts: Blessings In A Bottle) and there have been situations where He seemed silent, even distant. Yet, He was always there, and during the quiet times amidst a whirling thunderstorm, God guided me, taught me, strengthened me. I know at times He was silent because there was something I needed to learn. After the silence, the lesson is a roaring of revelation, a shouting of joyful knowledge.
It’s like teaching a child to tie their shoes. You show them. You help them. Then you let them go. They fumble, they make knots, they get frustrated, they may even cry. But if you don’t let them try, you’ll be tying those shoes for the rest of their lives. They have to learn.
And, so do we. We are God’s children. We fumble around, we make knots of things. We may even stumble and fall on our untied shoe strings, we might even be crying for help, but we keep trying. And one day, we look down and we’ve done it. Tying those shoes has become second nature, something once so hard, that we can now perform blindfolded. We have grown. We are experts!
The rain will stop. The lessons will be learned. You will be better because of them. God has directions for you just like every good parent, and they are written down just for you in the Bible. Everything you ever need to know is in the Word of God, and inside of you, the Holy Spirit. It’s amazing to me that we have such a wonderful set of instructions, yet we so easily forget to look. God is always there, even during the storms, we just have to learn to trust Him through the winds, the rains and the cold. Trust Him to get you through, by a miracle or by strength.
So if you are braving a storm right now (I know I am), look up to your Maker and pray. Pray for strength, and for wisdom. Wisdom is promised to you, if you only ask.
If you’ve survived your storm, and are basking in the sunshine, stop and remember the rain. Realize what a warrior you truly are, and that you just being here right now, reading this, is nothing short of a miracle. You are a storm survivor! Never forget the rain, and remember that there are people around you who are wet and cold. Share your sunshine! What goes around comes around, and you never know when a storm might just be on your horizon.
I am a fighter, a survivor, a warrior. I fight my battles on my knees and with smiles in the rain. I hold out, I hold on, I push and pull, and I get through the rainy days. The sun is always just a little prettier, and a little brighter after every storm. So fight on, pray on, keep going on. You are stronger than you think, because you have God’s love, God’s guidance.
As always, God bless,
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And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights.
They are drenched by mountain rains and hug the rocks for lack of shelter.
See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone.
Song of Songs 2:11
he is like the light of morning at sunrise on a cloudless morning, like the brightness after rain that brings grass from the earth.’
2 Samuel 23:4
The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.
He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.
Light is sweet, and it pleases the eyes to see the sun.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.