These past few weeks I have been going through something and throughout it, I've had an overwhelming feeling that God is with me. I have been reminded that we all go through times in our lives when we struggle; when things don’t go the way we had hoped; when we feel disappointed; when we feel attacked; when we feel lost and confused - the storms of life.
I have been caught in the rain quite a bit these last few weeks - both metaphorically and physically - and it has taught me a lot about my relationship with God and my walk with Him.
I believe that there is a tendency among people of faith (and those without, to a certain extent) to blame God for the hardships they endure. We feel a drop of rain and we shrug it off - “that’s life” - but when it begins to pour, when it’s raining hard, we respond in anger and frustration and we point the finger at God - “Lord why are you letting this happen to me?!”.
But the truth is, God doesn’t ‘let’ bad things happen to you. We live in a post-the-fall-of-man-world of free will, bad things are going to happen, we will all face hardships, because sin is in the world. The rains will come, they are inevitable, and we will all go through storms, but that’s not God’s fault. What God does do when we're struggling is, He goes through the rain with us.
In John 16:33, we read “I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world”. Jesus tells us there will be trouble, we will face hard times, we will go through storms. But we can have hope because our God is greater than the storms of this world.
If we’re being honest with ourselves, I think we can admit that most of our days are ‘fair-weather days’. If you reflect on life as a whole, the likelihood is that you have had more good days and okay days, than bad days (unfortunately the bad seem to stick in our minds more - but in all honesty they are outweighed). And in our good/okay days, whether the sun is brightly shining, or there’s a bit of a chill in the air, we tend to do life in our own strength. We plod along, going our own way, choosing the steps we take and the paths we walk down, with fairly minimal thought about God. He has made a way for you, and for the most part we are happy to stroll along at our own pace, without much divine intervention. But when things go wrong, when we’re struggling, and the rains come, it is amazing how fast we go to Him. There are two verses in the Bible that have taught me a lot about this tendency we have: firstly, this is the nature of human beings, in 2 Chronicles 15:4 it says “but in their distress they turned to the Lord, the God of Israel, and sought Him, and He was found by them”. In their hard times, they went looking for God they called out to Him, and He was with them! This reminds us that it is okay to call out to God when we struggle, mankind have been doing it since Biblical times. He knows that we turn to Him in our distress, and though I'm sure He'd prefer to be sought out by us all the time, He is found by us when we come to him in times of struggles; and second, in Job 38:1, we read “then, the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm”. This reminded me that God is in the rain with us, He is with you in whatever storm you face, and in fact even uses that time in the rain with you to speak to you and to draw closer to you.
So stand in the rain, and call out to Him in your distress, He will hear you and be found by you, so listen, He speaks to you out of the storm.
But that’s not all - though that in itself is incredible - not only is He with you, but He goes with you as your heavenly father. So when the rains come, and they do come, we call out to Him and draw near to Him, and he holds us close. He takes us in His arms and brings us near to His heart, He shelters us as best He can and whispers words of comfort as you walk in the rain together.
My hope for you is that even when you find yourself getting caught out in the rain, you have the strength to call out to God - He will be found by you, you can know His comfort and you’ll make it through the storm together.
***I want to just end this blog by pointing out that it is still true that the rains and the storms always come to an end. Remember that no-one walks in the rain forever, there is blue sky ahead. And although when you’re walking in the storm and it feels like there is rain all around and the sun will never shine again, take comfort in the knowledge that He goes with you, and the storms will pass.***