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.

The Great Promise

My calling is the Great Commission. It’s why I am here, and why you are here, too. God made us to go and grow with Him, and to share the love He so extravagantly poured out for us.

As Christians, we know that the words of Jesus in Matthew 28:19-20 are our marching orders. Yet, so many of our feet are stuck to the ground, motionless and unsure. In our hearts we want to be on mission for Jesus. We want the world to know Him! But, we don’t know where to begin. Go where? Make disciples how? Teach what? The harvest is tremendous, and sometimes it’s overwhelming to be called to something so far beyond our capabilities.

In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus commands us to “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” As God has emblazoned His calling and commission on our hearts, He works in ways that we can’t take credit for so that we give Him ALL the glory!! God wants us to step out with Him in faith to the fields white unto harvest, knowing that we can’t do this on our own and must fully rely on Him.

Every command in God’s Word is also a promise. As God calls and commands, He promises. So, when Jesus commands us to GO — He is there guiding, sending, leading, making a way. When He commands us to “make disciples of all nations” — He is there moving hearts, giving us His Words of life, doing miracles, drawing all men to Himself. When He commands us to baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit — He is there witnessing from Heaven and receiving our worship. When He commands us to “teach them to observe all that He commanded” — He is there teaching us, laying out His truth that will not return void, imprinting His Word in hearts and compelling us all to action. And, when Jesus ends this all-consuming, life-changing command with the promise that Jesus HIMSELF is with us always — HE MEANS IT.

This is our calling — this is why we were made — to Go and Grow and give glory to our Savior!

So, when we wake up each morning, it’s an opportunity to go, to share Jesus with our words and with our actions, to let the Gospel overflow our hearts. Let’s start each day asking God to lead us right where we need to be, to give us the words to share that will speak to each person’s heart, to show us how to love people the way Jesus loves them. Pray that God would push us through the doors He’s opened to boldly proclaim the Good News, and invite people to respond. Today, let’s ask God for the opportunities to reach into people’s lives here, and the uttermost places on the earth.

We can “go, therefore” because these verses in Matthew are not only our commission, they are His promise.