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.

Revive

Psalms 68_9

Driving through the sticky, hot air of Mississippi on the way back from vacation, both my husband and I realized the air conditioning wasn’t working. And, we had 12+ drive hours left before we would reach home. The windows went down as we tried to salvage the breeze. Two hours later, we were all exhausted. The warmth whipping around our faces took its toll, and we rolled into the next major town on the hunt for an auto repair center. Another two hours later, the problem was diagnosed but the part was not in stock. We called up the road five hours and scheduled a repair for the next morning. Then we sucked it up and headed back into the blazing temperatures.

Often, life brings the heat. Even with sunscreen, sweat will roll down our faces, and without water we will grow faint. Pressure comes unexpectedly. Dryness creeps in and fades our joy. It’s difficult to find passion when our parched souls drift toward apathy. Time keeps chugging on, and often the ascent off the mountain top experiences comes more quickly than we want.

Where do we go when we are spiritually spent? How do we continue when the humidity has sapped our desire? What do we say to God when we are languished and parched?

We must pray for rain.

We are God’s treasure, His dearly loved children. God wells up His streams in the wilderness. He sends showers, abundant rain to pour over and fill the cracks in our hearts.

But whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never get thirsty again — ever! In fact, the water I will give him will become a well of water springing up within him for eternal life.

– John 4:14

God will revive us. No matter how high the barometer rises or how many hours we are stuck on the road in the blazing heat, we are still His. God’s abundant rain will come.