Thursday, March 29, 2012

Why We NEED the Rain

{Theology of Pain}

Monday morning, as I was driving to work, it was slightly raining, but I could see the sun bursting through the clouds just a bit.

Which reminded me of a song from when I taught preschool. So I started singing it. (That’s what happens when you teach little kids (or have little kids) the songs that get stuck in your head are usually by world renowned artists like Greg & Steve, Raffi, or in my case Charlotte Diamond.) Maybe some of you know it?

“Each of us is a flower, growing in life’s gaaarrrden. Each of us is a flower, we need the sun and the rain.”

If this post just got to hokey for you, that’s okay, you can stop reading.

So I’m singing this song as I drive to work (ridiculous, I know). I was thinking of how so many people throughout the weekend posted how much they love the rain! And all I can ever think of is how much I hate it. Rain gives me terrible headaches. I was in bed most Friday afternoon because of a headache and ingesting handfuls of advil all day Sunday. I don’t enjoy anything about the rain.

Except I kept telling myself “we need it”. To wash the air, to nourish the plants, to water the earth so crops can grow.

We need rain. So I’ll endure the pain because we need the rain.

Do you see where I’m going with this?

You didn’t know Charlotte Diamond was a theologian did you?

So it is in my life. I don’t like the rain: the hard times, the trials, the storms. I don’t like the rainy, dark, stormy, icky days. I like sunshine and blue skies! I like easy, comfortable, happy days.

But I would never grow if I didn’t have those kinds of days, just as a plant wouldn’t grow without the rain. I wouldn’t grow to be more Christ-like if my whole life was happy and comfortable. If anything, I would probably backslide because I would never need to depend on Christ for anything.

The rainy days are what help us to depend on Christ, to grow to be more like Him, and be nourished in a different way. We need the sunshine, but we also need the rain. Otherwise we'd wither away.

So this week, I looked at my “rainy days” a little different. I look through my trials, my pain, my lessons as a source of nourishment that help me grow.

"For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it." (Isaiah 55:11-12)

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