“To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:
2 A time to be born,
And a time to die;
A time to plant,
And a time to pluck what is planted;
3 A time to kill,
And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
And a time to build up;
4 A time to weep,
And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
And a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones,
And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace,
And a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to gain,
And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
And a time to throw away;
7 A time to tear,
And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
And a time to speak;
8 A time to love,
And a time to hate;
A time of war,
And a time of peace.
– Ecc. 3:1-8………….
It’s raining and raining – and raining. Will it ever stop raining? Will the sun ever return to where it belongs – front and center in the sky so it can dazzle us down below with light and warmth and sunshine, shine and shine and shine, brightening the skies and our world down below? Oh, but it rains. And rains and rains.
Sometimes I almost feel trapped in the rain. Trapped inside. Indoors. Trapped away from the outdoors. The outside. Trapped away from people and activity. Or drenched getting to wherever it is I am going to be around people and activity. Trapped under a raincoat hood. Or an umbrella. Or simply trapped beneath the sky that just won’t let up.
Like now. Today. New to New York City. Knowing nobody really. Just random people I’ve met briefly along the way of moving into the city. Trapped inside my blessed little apartment. Trapped inside with the dogs who would probably love to go out. For a walk. To wander. To explore. To move. I’m an active person. They like to be active, too. But not on a day like today. When I wonder, won’t it ever stop raining?
Sometimes life feels that way, doesn’t it? Like we’re stuck in something we don’t want to be in, under the raincoat hoods of life, the umbrellas of life, away from people and activity, beneath a grey sky filled with clouds and – oh, but won’t we ever get through and past whatever it is we’re walking through, going through, experiencing, whatever it is that seems to be devoid of sunshine and light and bright?
Friend, life has its seasons. We need to remember that even in the rain, even under grey skies, even when the sunshine seems to be nowhere in sight, even when it seems the rain will never pass, and we’re tired of getting wet, and drenched and soaked, when we’re weary from trudging through a season of our lives in our rain boots, with our trench coats on, ever walking through the rain, when we feel like the rain is leaking through the very walls of our hearts, wetting our hearts, matching our sometimes tears, in the midst of it all, we need to remember this.
When we turn away from our lifestyles of sin and turn to God and His ways through repentance and faith in Jesus who died on the cross for us and was raised from the dead, when we trust Jesus as our Lord, when we surrender our lives to Him, day by day, breath by breath, when we come to know Jesus, and find intimacy with Him, and spend time with Him, in God’s Word, in praise and worship, in seeking Him and hearing Him, in becoming more like Him, in growing and being refined by the Lord, in soaking in His rain, in being drenched in His love, we learn three things among so many others.
1. We can find sunshine and light and hope and brightness even in the rainiest days, even when our circumstances seem like never ending rain and dark cloudy skies, for we can refocus our attention off the clouds and rain and onto Jesus;
2. We learn that life is full of seasons, and that when we yield ourselves to Jesus, God leads us through the seasons, and circumstances do change, ultimately, and sun comes and goes, and clouds come and go, and things do pass, and life is changing and has its changes, and God shows us that there are seasons in life, and He is faithful with His followers to be with us in all seasons, and to lead us through our lives, by His Spirit, through one season after another, together
3. There is indeed a purpose in the seasons He brings and allows in our lives, and there is a purpose even in the midst of rain, for as rain is necessary to water the ground and to refresh and bring new life and to water the plants and trees and such, and to provide water for us to drink, and for the land to drink up thirstily, so even in the rainy days and seasons of our lives, God can use our rainy, seemingly dreary circumstances to do whatever He desires, like to refine us, test us, grow us, give us quiet time we might not otherwise take, draw us closer to Him, replenish and refresh us as He leads us toward our next season, and the one after, whatever He wants, He can do as He likes, as we learn to submit ourselves to Him
Oh, I would love to wave my magic wand sometimes and bring back the sunshine on a rainy day, and to change my circumstances to make them as I desire, but of course I don’t really have a magic wand, and more and more I am learning to see that the very best way to handle a rainy day, and a rainy season, and any day and season at all, is for me to entrust myself to the Lord, and to let Him lead and provide as He desires, for He is the one for whom I live and breathe, the one who gives us life and breath, and friend, even on rainy, rainy, days, when it seems like the rain will never end, we can snuggle and cuddle and curl up with the Lord, and His Word, and take refuge in Him, and let Him shelter us from the rain and the storms of life, and be thankful that the same God who created this earth, this world, this universe, and us, and rain, and seasons, He when we surrender ourselves to Jesus as Lord, He will carry us and be with us, all the way through.