My friends up north are tired of rain. They’ve had more than their share lately. We, in Florida, are desperate for rain. In a place where summer storms come daily, dumping inches of rain in minutes, we can get pretty tired of rain too. But not right now.
Right now we’re experiencing the worst drought some areas have seen since recordkeeping began. Drier than it’s been for over a hundred years. Most of the state is under an extreme fire danger warning with wildfires breaking out every day.
If you’ve been following my recent posts, you know about the struggles we’ve been experiencing over the past few months. When I stop and think about all the different challenges we’re dealing with all at the same time I can’t believe we’re still standing. But we are.
I thought about giving this a different title. Something like,” what do termites, migraines, cirrhosis, and broken A/C units have in common?” The answer would be –what the Maxeys are up against.
In the past two months we’ve had to deal with a son needing an MRI for increased migraines, termites in our Iowa house, and my father being evaluated for heart surgery at 82. We also had our two-year-old granddaughter in the ER for a cut on her hand requiring about 8 stitches, and we had an encounter with bedbugs that sent us to the laundromat with 12 trash bags of clothing and bedding to wash. And of course, Randy’s diagnosis of cirrhosis, which was enough all by itself. All of our boys still need testing for the 3 genetic disorders that they believe are playing a role in Randy’s illness.
Some of those things are overwhelming all by themselves and taken together it feels like a raging storm with no end. There are times in life when we want to wave the white flag of surrender and say we’ve had enough. We didn’t sign up for this.
So what does that have to do with rain, you ask? I think it is about perspective. Sometimes in the rainy season in Florida we get rain every day. And if a hurricane comes through we can get 15 inches in just a day or two. Too much all at once is as bad as not enough. Both bring problems but they are quite different.
A few days ago I was talking to a friend about the challenges we were working through. We talked about storms and how it wouldn’t rain forever. We joked about building an ark.
But then I listened to a song that talked about the story of Elijah praying for rain. Listen here. The tiny cloud started to form and they knew it would rain. The rain was an answer to prayer, not the beginning of a devastating flood. It’s all in how you look at rain.
In the rainy season, we don’t always welcome the rain but in the drought we are desperate for it. The water is the same, it’s our perspective that’s changed.
In our lives lately, we have seen all these challenges as the storms that never end. The deluge of rain that we fear will drown us. But what if we look past the obvious and focus our eyes on the rain that brings good things? It’s the same water. The same challenges that threaten to overwhelm us also have the potential to cause growth and fruit.
Instead of building an ark, or running for the umbrella, maybe we should go outside and stand in the rain with outstretched arms. Allowing it to soak us because the One who made us brings the rain.
You heavens above, rain down my righteousness; let the clouds shower it down. Let the earth open wide, let salvation spring up, let righteousness flourish with it; I, the LORD, have created it. – Isaiah 45:8 (NIV)
From the west, people will fear the name of the LORD, and from the rising of the sun, they will revere his glory. For he will come like a pent-up flood that the breath of the LORD drives along – Isaiah 59:19 (NIV)