As I was driving home in the rain yesterday afternoon, I found myself eager to sit down and begin writing. There was a certain inspiration I felt as I considered the scene of sitting down at the computer, facing the window and watching the rain fall.
When we think of rain, we think of a variety of things. For some, it’s the clean air. The smell of the outdoors after a rainfall is refreshing. In California, it means the hillsides which turn brown in the summer will soon be returning to a lush green. For others, the rain means inconvenience. The roads can be hazardous.
All these things are true.
In our language, we attribute positive and negative qualities to people using weather terms. We say positive people are a “ray of sunshine”, while negative people “have a cloud over their head”. When we try to find something positive in a negative situation, we say “every cloud has a silver lining”.
As I felt inspired to come home and begin to write as the rain fell, it dawned on me that we need the rain of life in so many ways. I remember as a child, rainy days kept us indoors. No playing outside. A day or two…no problem. A week or more, and you felt like a prisoner. But when we were confined to staying in, we had some special times. Sitting by the fireplace, playing board games. Watching old movies. Eating some great hot meals. Listening to music. Talking. It brought togetherness, rather than the typical routine of everyone off in different directions.
Life hands us a lot of rainy days. And no, I’m not talking about the weather anymore. Things happen which alter our routines. It can be the loss of a job or business. A broken relationship. Health problems. Emergency repairs on your car or home. Nobody enjoys these things. But it is in times like these that our lives must slow down. It’s in times like these when we must find togetherness with our families and true friends. It’s in times like these that we must spend time talking to, and more importantly, listening to God.
The rain brings balance to the earth, and our lives. While the sunshine is wonderful, too much of it can lead to a drought. If everything went smoothly and easily in life, it would be easy for us to not appreciate our blessings. We would end up in a spiritual drought. Don’t you appreciate good health right after you’ve been sick? Isn’t it nice to be able to eat solid foods after you’ve had the flu? To be able to swallow pain-free after suffering through a sore throat? Do you even think about these things when everything is “normal”?
The “rain” in life brings an opportunity to appreciate. The relationships we’ve built in life were made for times like these. Remember, it wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark. But when the rain came, what he built protected him and carried him through the storm. So right now, if the rain in life isn’t coming down on you, it will. So build that “ark”. Maintain it. Fill it with the things you’ll need to endure the storm.
When the sun comes out again, appreciate it. And appreciate the rain that made the sun a welcome sight.