It is often said that we crave for things that we don’t have… it’s part of our human psyche.
I grew up in the high desert in central Oregon. Rain was not common there. Summers would bring impressive thunderstorms. The air would smell fresher. The dust would settle. The high desert refreshed with a cool drink of heavenly rain. Now I live in western Oregon. The rains of western Oregon keep the fields green and the forests alive and flourishing. It rains… but not as much as you might think.
This year has been a long dry summer. The parched forests and valleys are showing the evidence of the lack of moisture. Fire season has been brutal here in the west. We crave rain.
Beloved monumental forests are being devoured by raging fires, some started with natural causes, some started by the actions of careless humans. The picturesque Gorge, the Crater Lake area, and many of the high lake areas of my childhood play in the central Cascades have been forever changed. Homes have been threatened. Roads closed. Wild life and towns uprooted and sent to safety, away from the flames fanned with ferocious winds. People have come together… to help… to shelter… to fight fires… and to pray for rain.
It started raining yesterday. It has rained off and one since then… bits of sun and then bits of rain. It is a welcome sound! The sound of rain charges up everyone. Children even enjoy getting wet, dancing in the rain. Rain is invigorating, soothing, and sets the cycle of growth.
“Then I will you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.” – Lev 26:4
God sends rain to provide for our needs.
“For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:” Isa 55:10
The rain cycle shows God’s design and provision for all of His creations.
Rain is one of the most desirable things. We enjoy a good shower but as soon as it turns into heavy rain we are under a ton of stress as rain is unpredictable.
When it starts to rain and rain and rain the land begins to flood and people face destruction and loss. My house sits in a low place in our neighborhood. More than once the rain waters have risen and washed under our house, through the laundry room and garage, and out to the street. A few years ago, on the eve of my daughter’s wedding, we were standing in mid-calf deep water, pushing the trash, mud, and even salamanders, out to the street with shovels and shop brooms. Even the bride was mucking through water and mud while a host of people worked to save our house and set up for the reception up at the church. Many of our belongings were ruined. It dampened that day, but not our spirits. Many friends and family came to lighten the load and helped us save the day.
So far this year we have seen the waters rise in areas, like Houston, where loved ones live. My brother and his family live in Houston. They have seen the devastation first hand. Roads, homes, fields, vehicles, everything washed away with rising floodwaters. Families have taken a blow. Neighborhoods are forever changed. The economy has taken a hit.
My brother and his wife have spent weeks helping those devastated by resent flooding. The flood waters rose around them as the hurricane made landfall and began to devastate the area. (the above video is outside my brother’s house).
(the above video is of my brother helping at a house with 3 feet of water standing in the living room and a guy canoed right in).
My brother even bought a kayak to prepare to evaluate himself and his wife. Blessings from heaven… the rising waters stopped at his doorstep. Now, he has used the kayak to help people get to safety and dry land. Now, he and his co-workers are helping people strip their houses and to rebuild. Many people are stepping up to help their neighbors and perfect strangers. Neighbors, who had never had conversations before, helped each other carry belongings, pets, and precious items to safety. Communities came together. People lined up to help neighborhoods recover and rebuild. The rains have brought a new kind of growth… a grown in humanity and decency.
“… I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from the face of the earth.” Gen 7:4
I am not suggesting that the people of the southern states are being punished with the excess of rain that is continuing to fall, try and test the region, nor am I suggesting the people in the western states are being punished by the lack of rain and the scorching fires that rage across the land. I do think that the rain and the lack of rain is meant to help us remember that we are dependent on God and His mercy. I do think naturally occurring disasters such as an excess of rain and the lack of rain can bring people together, break down barriers, and build communities.
They say that into every life a little rain must fall. What “they” fail to mention is that rain can be seen as either a blessing or a curse, it all depends on how we look at it.
Even though rain may be unpleasant from time to time, it is not the enemy. The reality is, rain is not a curse. It is a blessing. Rain is the precursor to growth – a healthy, invigorating, motivating growth. Here is the paradox: we must recognize and accept rain as a blessing. It all depends on how you choose to look at it. I am amazed at the people who step up to help… in the flood waters of Houston and in the scorched lands of Oregon… evidence of growth!
You choose! You can choose to curse the rain and grow bitter against it. You can choose to accept the storm and find the blessings showered upon us. You can curse God and only see the bad around you or you can accept the test and know that all things are for our good.
A flower accepts the storm because it knows it will be watered well. If the flower is watered, it will grow and blossom into something beautiful.
With all the rain, literal and figurative, around us, we have a choice. Our growth and blossoming are at hand. I choose to thankfully accept the rain as it comes and to gladly move forward. I choose to grow and see the good in a little fall of rain.