There’s a much-awaited chill in the air and it’s raining. I love this weather. Some people don’t like the rain or the cold; I love them both. When a cold rainy day comes my dad will be the first to say, “This weather…SUCKS!” People say that going a while without seeing the sun gets them depressed. I’m quite the opposite, although I’ve always been a bit backward.
For those who don’t enjoy the rain, they wonder when is this going to end? How big is this raincloud over me? How many other people are affected by the weather? The same questions can be asked when a different kind of storm comes in our lives: a tragedy, a loss, a bad report, the list goes on. When is this trial going to end? I can’t see the end of this. Who else is going through what I’m going through?
The answer to the question depends on which side of the storm you’re looking at. When you are in the midst of a downpour you can’t see the edge of the clouds, you can only see what is happening in your area. The truth is, there is an end. The clouds only stretch so far and the rain only lasts so long.
Despite the severity of the storm, from a distance they are beautiful. The rain is falling and giving life to everything it touches. The sun is shining on the outside creating a spectacle of beautiful colors against the dark background.
A promise of God, an integrated part of science and the design of nature is that when the sun hits the rain, there is a rainbow. God orchestrated drops of water to reflect light in such a way that it would create a brilliant spectrum of colors. God used that meteorological phenomenon to give a promise to Noah, in that He would never again destroy the whole earth with a flood. That storm was sealed with a promise – that it wouldn’t last forever. The same is true for whatever storm in life that you’re walking through – it won’t last forever. Losses must be grieved, heartache must be felt, but the book of Romans says, “We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love Him.” This is the rainbow for your storm.
God is above and beyond our circumstances. He is beyond space and time and He is in control, no matter what situation. He shines His light on you. So if you’re in a storm and you have light shining on you, what happens? You’ve got a rainbow on your storm.
James 1:2-4 says, “My brothers and sisters, you will have many kinds of trouble. But this gives you a reason to be very happy. You know that when your faith is tested, you learn to be patient in suffering. If you let that patience work in you, the end result will be good. You will be mature and complete. You will be all that God wants you to be.”
At the University of Arizona, they have a 3+acre self-sufficient ecosystem called Biosphere 2. It has dirt, grass, shrubs and trees. The heat that the plants put off creates condensation on the glass. When the condensation drips down it rains back down on the plants. The circle of life is for the most part complete, except for the trees. Instead of standing tall, the trees are curved and bent so low the ground that they have to be braced to keep from collapsing. The flaw in the Biosphere is that there is no wind. Wind makes the bark of the trees strong and the trees grow deep roots to keep themselves secure against the wind. Without the wind, the trees can’t even support their own weight. They keep growing because they are nourished, but they are weak. Wind – a partially harsh element is absolutely necessary for healthy growth. Is the same not true for us? Is our growth and strengthening in life not more important than trees? It is. And because it is, we have to know how necessary it is for trials to come in our life. And because we know they are coming, we can choose ahead of time how we will respond to them.
Being happy in the midst of a trial seems at first to be a ludicrous mindset, but again, it depends on which side of the storm you are on. Are you stuck in the rain with no sign of daylight? Or can you take yourself outside of your storm for a moment to see the light shining on it and to see the growth and life that is coming from it?
Keep in mind that the purpose of the storms in your life are not just for your benefit, but for those you encounter as well. Growing from an experience gives you the ability to speak into the lives of those who will at some point walk through a similar experience. We get strengthened so we can help others grow. There may be a storm and all you may see is rain, but there is someone outside of your situation who sees a rainbow. They see someone who they can identify with. Your storm will help you identify with other people. The story of your trials will help encourage someone else.
You see that it’s pouring and you’re getting soaked and so is everyone around you. But there may be someone getting soaked that’s having the time of their life.