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.

Rain

Life is full of storms.

The rain comes down. We hunker down. Life gets messy, muddy. Dark skies crowd out the sun.

Storms dominate the news and our worst fears. Planning models are made, tested and tested again.

If we aren’t careful, storms take over, everything.

Looking for puddles to splash and stomp in

Looking for puddles to splash and stomp in

This week, my daughter’s preschool theme is rain. And, conveniently, it was raining outside. The heavy skies had been tipped, and water gushed down. It wasn’t enough for us to watch through the wet windows. Instead, we each grabbed umbrellas, Lauren put on her boots and raincoat, and we ventured outside.

Puddles beckoned, and Lauren stomped right in, with sprays of water behind. We peered into the layered skies and felt the rain on our hands. We twirled umbrellas up and down our driveway.

It’s true that storms can be scary. There are times we must seek shelter, praying for protection.

Yet, could it be we focus more on the storm, rather than the blessings through and from the storm?

You sent abundant rain, O God,
to refresh the weary land.

– Psalm 68:9

We forget the fresh smell of the earth after the rain, the way it makes you hold your little girl close as you run across the parking lot to your car, trying to dodge the raindrops. We overlook the blessing of storms driving little feet across the house in the middle of the night to snuggle and find security in our arms, and being able to remind them of God’s ultimate protection and peace.

We don’t go out and splash in the puddles.

We miss the joy that can be ours in the midst of the storm.

If it’s storming where you are today, look for the blessing. Search for God’s promises of His presence and His strength.

Put on your boots, and venture out.