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April Showers Bring...

Springtime has arrived in the Ozarks and as I sit with a cup of coffee this afternoon, watching the rain fall down, it occurs to me that we have a lot to learn from spring. One thing I’ve noticed being back in Missouri, is that spring brings with it lots and lots of rain. We’ve had our share of cloudy, stormy days lately. And in spite of all that rain, which seems to me to leave everything water-logged, I see green grass and new life all around me. It fascinates me how something that appears to drown all the living things around me actually brings about the process of new growth and a new season.

Rainy weather can often leave us feeling down. Cloudy skies can bring in cloudy moods and make us want to huddle up in our safe homes and avoid the possibility of getting wet. Not to mention the hail that seems to accompany the storms! With every hail storm that comes, I pray silently that my roof and car make it through undamaged. How often do we do that when the stormy seasons of life are upon us? We tend to hide and hunker down and just pray the storm passes quickly without causing too much damage to our life as we know it. We try to avoid the flooding effects of those heavy rains and run for cover as we feel the large raindrops pelting us in the face or threatening to leave our hearts sopping wet. Storms can be scary. Those that bring tornados and hail leave us sending up prayers for protection. And in those stormy seasons, all we see with our eyes is rain, rain and more rain. But in the natural world, it’s what we don’t see during the storms that is most important.

In nature, the rain aids in ushering in a new season. It’s a necessary part of nature. I look outside and see a yard that is practically a pond! But, as the rain comes down, I also start to notice the fresh, green grass; the new buds on the trees; the flowers coming back to life from a soil that has been dormant for many months. You see, without that rainy season, life ceases to move forward in a healthy way. It’s necessary for growth. The earth welcomes the water from heaven, soaks it up and then produces life from it. It doesn’t hide in fear of flooding the rain might cause or the havoc it might wreak. Nature takes its course and moves forward to bring new life.

May we do the same in the rainy, stormy seasons of our lives. May we recognize that the storms of life are good for us, pushing those areas of our lives which have sat dormant and ignored to produce new growth. May we rejoice in the pain of flooding and the hail storms of life because we know that despite the pain we experience in the storm, the life that will be produced from that pain will be lush and wonderful! May we remind ourselves that sometimes there must be pain to produce new life but that new life is indeed coming - if we allow ourselves to soak up the rain water, welcome the work God is doing in our lives and allow Him to have His way in us.

Sometimes God sends rain into our lives. Not every storm is from Him but the seasonal rains are. We must learn to know the difference and embrace the seasons God has for us - even the stormy ones.

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