What seemed like never-ending snow has now turned into drenching April showers. It is indeed nice to get a break from the insanely cold weather. Looks like spring just might be on its way. I must say, Indiana weather has really thrown me for a loop.
When I was little, I used to love to jump in puddles and get wet and see the splashing water. Yet, this morning I was dodging puddles trying to get to the bus stop sign as the rain poured, the wind howled, and the thunder and lightening kept breaking above me. My umbrella was fairly useless, and despite my efforts, I was drenched by the time I got to the bus stop. I then realized that I was standing next to a sign that was the tallest thing in the closest vicinity. I took one step away from it instinctively while realizing that it would probably do very little good if it was actually struck by lightning, so I just started praying that I’d be spared and that the bus would hurry up and arrive. A few other drenched students joined me as we waited shivering hoping the bus would come. Finally, it came and we all scrambled in squeaking and slipping about as we did to begin quite a wet day at school.
It didn’t seem like morning. It seemed more like evening, the clouds were so dark. The rain poured and poured and poured. I wondered how anyone would ever want to dance and sing in this stuff. Gene Kelley’s image went across my mind as I scrambled to try to get to my building on campus after getting off the bus. I decided that I wasn’t quite that awake yet or really that excited about the rain to start tap dancing and singing. Most of the students I saw were as equally drenched as myself and looked as equally excited about it. It made for a sleepy sort of day when you wish you didn’t have so many classes and could just go home and drink coffee while staring out the window. But, I suppose, it was one of those character building experiences that makes for a story one can tell later.
I later heard from my friends and family in Texas how a lack of rain is causing such a havoc with the drought and the frequent dust storms. Well do I remember what that was like! How truly strange it is. One area of the country is flooding, yet another region is shriveling up because of drought. How and why does that happen? Sure, there’s all sorts of scientific reasons why, but sometimes it’s hard to explain why it continues as it does. Someone in a flooded region surely wishes for drier weather as much as a person in a drought-ravaged region wishes for rain. It can’t be helped.
Is that not how life is though? We feel that we need something so badly, and it is obvious how badly we need it. However, instead of getting what we need, we receive more of what we definitely do not need. It’s frustrating and depressing! We wonder if our prayers are going unanswered or are even being heard. The rain keeps pouring without a hope of letting up or the wind keeps blowing with no hope of rain. We feel despair as if maybe we should just throw up our hands and give up, but we musn’t give in to that temptation.
Isn’t that why we have fear? We’ve found ourselves in situations and circumstances that we have no control over. Maybe it’s news that has turned our world upside down. We may find ourselves jobless or financially unstable. A loved one may be suffering through a terrible disease or we may find ourselves facing the uncertainty of an unexpected serious health problem. Whatever we face, we no longer feel in control and we don’t know how to weather the storm.
On the bus ride home today, I sat there thinking through all of the names of people I know who are in such storms. I then wondered why. Why is it that when that first horrible piece of news or event hits, that God doesn’t just take it away immediately and make it all better? Why doesn’t He just resolve it right then? Why does He allow the storm to continue to roar and thunder and the rain to pour down when I already feel cold and shaken? ‘Why do the clouds hang low and yet bring no rain?’ the farmer in TX wonders. ‘Is there no end of suffering?’ a tired mother of a sick child in a hospital wonders.
These are not easy questions to answer and neither is it necessarily wrong to ask them. How can we be able to reach that place where we see everything crashing down and yet say as Job did “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: ” (Job 13:15)? Job was able to endure because he knew as he said in the next verse “He [the Lord] also shall be my salvation” (Job 13:16). He held onto this truth even when he couldn’t feel God’s presence and even as circumstances worsened.
Sometimes that’s all one can do is hang on as the storm howls above. He has promised to be our refuge in time of trouble (Psalm 46:1). We can’t and will not always know the answer to the questions of why we go through things. But, God does. I wish I could reach out and hug the ones I know who are suffering right now, but all I can do for now is leave you with a song that has so often come to mind in times of difficulty “‘Til the Storm Passes By,” by Mosie Lister:In the dark of the midnight have I oft hid my face, While the storm howls above me, and there’s no hiding place. ‘Mid the crash of the thunder, precious Lord hear my cry; Keep me safe ’til the storm passes by. Many times Satan whispered, “There is no need to try,
For there’s no end of sorrow, there’s no hope by and by.” But I know thou art with me and tomorrow I’ll rise Where the storms never darken the skies. When the long night is ended and the storms come no more, Let me stand in the presence on that bright peaceful shore. In that land where the tempest never comes, Lord, may I Dwell with Thee when the storm passes by. Chorus: ‘Til the storm passes over, ’til the thunder sounds no more, ‘Til the clouds roll forever from the sky, Hold me fast, let me stand in the hollow of Thy Hand. Keep me safe ’til the storm passes by.