Saturday, 4 p.m. It was here at last; I finally had a few minutes to do some yard work (transplanting rose bushes, potting begonias – girly stuff), without kids underfoot. After a particularly hectic few weeks, with no breaks from full-time “momming”, I took a deep breath and relished the serenity of being alone with my plants. My quiet, perfectly-behaved plants.
Saturday, 4:01 p.m. The rain started. I may be exaggerating about the timeline a bit. Maybe there were like, three whole minutes of nice weather before the sky opened up. Who’s to say? The point is, it happened quickly. And it wasn’t a gentle shower. It was the kind of rain that falls so hard and fast it bounces off the ground.
I’d been forming a negative internal dialogue for a while by then. So naturally, this presented a good opportunity to throw some gas on that fire. It’s possible I was muttering to myself, in the pouring rain, things like, “Of course. Of course it starts pouring the minute I have a second to myself.” You know, those sort of things. When the thunder started, I should’ve gone inside. A wise person would’ve. But instead, I continued to do what I’d set out to do. Because… stubbornness. And because every street needs a crazy neighbor.
At one point, the rain became so heavy that I could’ve used a pair of goggles. I could barely see. Again, I considered going inside. Or at least getting some goggles. But again, I kept going. By now, it wasn’t even stubbornness motivating me. It was the grumbling and complaining. The longer I kept going, the more I had to complain about.
And then, from seemingly nowhere, came this thought: Look how quickly the Lord has provided the rain these plants need to grow and thrive. Look how the Lord is blessing your work.
I wanted this thought to go away. It was too encouraging. Too pleasant. And I was in no mood for pleasant thoughts. But the more I tried to push it down, the more it rose to the surface.
Because it was true, these plants needed the rain just as much as they needed the sun. Without this rain, they’d eventually dry up. They’d stop growing, thriving, and living.
Rain is important. It’s good. Life-giving, even. Logically, we know and want the benefits of rain… and yet, we’d rather not be inconvenienced by it. We dread and complain about the literal rain, and much more so we do this with the “rainy” seasons of life. Or at least, I do.
I long to look at rain differently. To see past its temporary hardship and recognize the growth and life it brings.
My plants are currently soaking up the early morning sun. As far as I can tell, they’re not concerned with when the rain will come next. When it does happen, they won’t grumble and complain. They’ll simply accept it. They’ll let it change, grow, and nourish them. And they’ll thrive as a result.
Perhaps I could stand to be more like these plants. Quieter, for sure. But also more trusting and yielding to the One who makes things grow (1 Corinthians 3:6).
“When the ground soaks up the falling rain and bears a good crop for the farmer, it has God’s blessing.” – Hebrews 6:7 NLT
“The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.” – Isaiah 55:10-11 NLT
“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” – James 1:2-4 NLT