When it rains

We jumped into the car after church determined to make the trek to Silver Dollar City to see the Christmas lights. It was the last day of the season for the holiday festivities. The skies were overcast and gloomy, but our trusty weather app said the rains wouldn’t start until later in the night.

We sailed through the three-hour drive, with virtually no traffic, and were thrilled that the park wasn’t full. That meant quick lines and more fun!

Then, I felt it. A drop. Next, a drizzle, just a sputtering from the sky. We had just gotten a funnel cake sampler, so we found the last table under a canopy and began to eat. The rains came, and began to soak our winter coats. Matt had thought to bring our big rainbow umbrella, and so we huddled close together and began to walk slowly underneath to the next show so we could get in from the rain.

Under the rainbow umbrella canopy trying to stay dry

Apparently many, many others had the same idea. The theater was packed full of wet people looking for respite.

The lights went down. An angel appeared. He recounted meeting Mary and how she and her betrothed traveled to Bethlehem. There, she gave birth to a son, God’s Son. And the world was changed. The skies opened up in praise, shepherds went to find the baby, wisemen followed a star to worship the tiny king. The Gospel was shared.

It wasn’t rain that wet my cheeks inside the theater. It was the realization that God made it rain that day so this crowd could know the truth about Jesus.

The downpour lessened once the show was finished, and we enjoyed our time at the park and all its lights.

We love the Christmas lights at Silver Dollar City!

Rain will often change our plans, our moods, and our perspectives. Sometimes our lives are pummeled by storms and soaked in sorrowful tears. Rain can bring beautiful growth and refreshment, as well as hesitation and even peril.

When the hard rains come, and they will come, I want to remember these three things I realized dodging the drops at SDC.

  1. Rain can bring us closer to those we love. Instead of scattering, when we were facing rain and potentially changed plans, my family huddled together underneath the dry cover of our umbrella. We used the rain as an opportunity to be together and move together.
  2. When it rains, look for the Gospel on display. God does not waste our pain or our tears. Often our struggles are a conduit for God’s message of hope and redemption. God may make it rain specifically to redirect or prepare the heart fields to receive His One and Only Son.
  3. The rain will end. There is always a start and an end to the rain, and to the storms in life. Believe that, and hold onto that. The rain may last so much longer than forecasted or come unexpectedly, but it will not last. The clouds will roll back to reveal the sun that was always there.

Fear doesn’t fit


This verse is consuming me today. I hope its spark catches you on fire, too.

Love,
Jill

For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

– 2 Timothy 1:6-7

God has given me gifts of His Spirit, opportunities to show His love and share His message of peace, and blessings that I am unable to quantify. More precious than all of these is the gift of salvation, the gift of Himself. He bought my life back from the pit of destruction and rescued me from a life without Him. He gave me a new heart and a new name. And my new life is meant to be on fire. I am to fan into flame the gift God has graciously given me! I want to be like the burning bush of Moses—that people are drawn to God’s presence, see His amazing power, hear His voice and then follow His call.

God’s fire is inside of me. I want it to roar.

You know what quenches that fire? Fear.

Fear that I’m not good enough. That what God has given me is too much. That I won’t be able to do it. That God made a mistake in choosing me. That people don’t like me and leave me out. That I’m failing my family. That someone else is better. That I’m not strong enough. That I’m not enough.

Fear causes me to look inward rather than upward. Fear prompts me to depend on what I can do, rather than what God will do.

God gave me His Holy Spirit. Fear does not fit in the mind or heart of His child.

God did NOT give me a spirit of fear. He gave me a spirit of power and love and self-control. His power overcomes my fear, His perfect love casts it out, and His self-control working in my life keeps it out.

I am meant to live on fire, in God’s power, love and self-control. What He has given me, I must share. What God has called me to, no force of hell can stop.

It’s time to fan into flame.