Tuesday, September 12, 2017

There is Nothing New, It Rains on Us All


"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 NIV

"...for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust." Matthew 5:45 NKJV

"What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun." Ecclesiastes 1:9 NIV

"For without Him, who can eat or find enjoyment?" Ecclesiastes 2:25 NIV

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16 NIV


I am sitting here at my kitchen table, listening to the chatter and laughter of my children and their friends. They are running in and out; vacillating between, hair and make-up, volley ball and snacks. They are almost teenagers and full of energetic hope. Today, they seem to not have a care in the world.

Intermingled with their sounds, are the sounds of my son vocally stimming and bouncing an exercise ball. I am momentarily frozen and flooded with the thoughts of what if... What if I had gone to his football game last night? What if I had a house full of teenage boys right now? What if he was eagerly anticipating all the events of his "senior year"? 

What if....and my thoughts were interrupted, the girls ran through the living room, and one word they said pulled be back to reality...hurricane, they barely slowed down to look at the news on the television, and then they were gone.

However, I am left sitting here, with the rain falling on the just and the unjust. I am reminded of Solomon's chasing of the wind and realization that "life is meaningless"...apart from God. 

I see it; I see what I feel is all, but know it is only part.

I was asked very recently to share my faith story, and I heard myself talking about the things I had seen God do; I have seen Him show up in our most difficult and devastating moments. I looked at this person and said, "That's really where I started to grow".

John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world that he sent his only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have ever lasting life." God loves us. What an indescribable gift!

That same God, created my son. 

That same God, created the wind and the water.

And that same God, allows disabilities to be present, the rains to fall and the winds to blow, on us all.

Sometimes the rain destroys everything we have created, and the destruction and the devastation is all we can see. This is where we desperately need practice, and instinctiveness, to focus on God. When we focus on Him we can begin to look at the rain, and even the devastation though our heart  and see how God can use us and these situations to bring about beauty and growth. 

It's just not always easy, in fact it is one of the most difficult things that we will ever do. The rain may fall and wash away our plans and hopes; it may wash away our jobs and our home, BUT GOD.

God never said life would be easy.

God did say He would be with us wherever we go.

I believe that because I have seen that, and because I have seen that... 

I can also tell you that "easy" is not a thing that is sustainable, and it definitely does not create or grow. I had an occupational therapist that worked with my son when he was little tell me, "If I am not sweating, we are not working, and if we are not working...he is not making progress." She also went on to explain that she forgets that sometimes, because it is fun and easy to come into a session and do the things she know he likes to do.  

Rain is a good thing, it falls and we grow.

Sometimes it falls in devastating amounts and peoples lives are seemingly destroyed. These times are especially difficult to say, "BUT GOD!"

But God. 

Watch, look closely and you will see He is there. You see him in the people who show up. Sometimes it's another mom in the waiting room sharing her story on lending a hand with your children. Sometimes it's a stranger sharing their home in a storm. Sometimes it's you and me, moving when God tells us to move. We do what needs to be done because we are the hands and feet of Jesus. 

God never said life would be easy. Easy does not grow you, hard does that. Hard shapes us into who we are meant to be, the hands and feet of Jesus, and gives us the incredible ability to help others. 

It's what God does.

Oh Dear God, in the middle of destruction and devastation we cry out to You. We pray to feel your presence and your comfort. God open the hearts and eyes of those who are hurting so that they can see you are there, even in the worst of circumstances. Move your people Father. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

~Beth

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