The room slowly darkens. The morning sun has been shrouded with a cloak of impending precipitation packaged in a darkening cloud overhead. The leaves on the trees begin to stir. The branches now sway gently, twisting and gliding up and down by the increasing winds of the oncoming storm.

Another shade darker becomes the room. I witness more movement in the trees. The rain is coming. Drip, drip, drop falls the rain on the tin roof. I step outside to the porch. Pitter, pitter, patter falls the rain on the slate path that leads to our door, splotching dark spots upon the light grey stone.

Heavy now is the dew in the air around me. I feel it on my skin. The birds continue their song. The rain is coming, there is no stopping it. Preparations must be made. Close the windows in the bedroom; don't forget the one in the living room. That's that. Now return to the porch.

 The distant thunder rumbles low as a cool breeze passes across my face. I lean over the porch railing to see the tops of the trees moving now; leaves bent back, and now under, in submission to the greater force that comes churning and hurling toward the forest that is unable to flee the storm that comes.

A catbird cries, "God is good and only doeth good," from his perch high atop the pine whose top was sheared off and cast to the ground in a previous summer storm. I think, "Into every life a little rain must fall," then the words of a hymn begin to play upon my mind: 
Fairest Lord Jesus, Ruler of all nature,
O Thou of God and man the Son,
Thee will I cherish, Thee will I honor,
Thou, my soul’s glory, joy and crown.

Fair are the meadows, fairer still the woodlands
Robed in the blooming garb of spring;
Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer,
Who makes the woeful heart to sing.

Beneficial is the shower. I think of our glorious and benevolent Father in heaven whose rain falls upon the just and the unjust and I think of the suffering that is an inevitable part of this life. As the coming rain, so with suffering. There is no stopping it, there is no escape; it is ours to accept. We can plan and prepare for these times of showers, and, as they approach, we can praise the name of God, who only doeth good, plead for mercy, and wait on His moving. It's from these broken perches that we can sit and proclaim His grace for others to hear; to be a herald of His kindness and unfailing presence and help.  

I long for the rain and the sun for without both I cannot grow. The rain comes and the earth is cleansed and nourished; and so am I through trial. I must attend to my task of setting out buckets to gather the coming rain as the widow gathered vessels for the coming oil; for the showers contain gold! Through the storm we learn to persist and push through the tumult to get to the still small voice that contains the thoughts of God. In the listening and seeking is the knowledge. “Be still and know that I am God.”

George Mueller said, “God delights to increase the faith of His children. Our faith, which is feeble at first, is developed and strengthened more and more by use. We ought, instead of wanting no trials before victory, no exercise for patience, to be willing to take them from God’s hand as a means. I say—and say it deliberately—trials, obstacles, difficulties, and sometimes defeats, are the very food of faith… Just so surely as we ask to have our faith strengthened, we must feel a willingness to take from God’s hand the means for strengthening it. We must allow Him to educate us through trials and bereavements and troubles.” 

As a desperately dependent child of God, we would do well to begin each prayer with the humble refrain, “O Merciful God, O Merciful God, O Merciful God.” In the quiet or in the storm, He is the same. He promised to never leave you, nor forsake you.

May we respond through faith, with hope, and in love, “Thank You, dear Lord; neither will I leave You.”


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