Today was an interesting day. My mom and I stopped by Walmart on the way back from our homeschool co-op. I asked to stay in the car and, since it was a little warm, my mom cracked the windows before she left.
After maybe ten minutes of reading a book, I realized that it had suddenly become very dark. It had been raining on and off all day, and I was a little worried as I started hearing some distant thunder.
A few minutes later, the rain softly came, so light that I barely noticed it. As it dusted the windshield with tiny drops of water, I texted my mom, asking her to hurry back so we could roll the windows up before the rain really started.
Several more minutes passed, and the drops of water became fatter and struck the windshield loudly, though still coming at a slow pace. Growing more worried, I called my mom and she assured me that she would be outside as soon as possible.
Almost the moment I hung up, the deluge began. To be honest, it wasn’t much of a deluge, though it was some decent rain. Either way, any amount of rain beyond a sprinkle certainly feels like deluge when you’re sitting in a car with the windows cracked and no keys.
I hurriedly grabbed my raincoat from the backseat and tried to stuff it into the window. It was barely open an inch, so I couldn’t get it far out enough that it could stay in the window by itself. In the end, I held it against the window using both hands and my head. (Yes, my head.) I could only hope that the rain wouldn’t start coming from the driver’s side, because, as much as I didn’t want water pouring in the car, I wasn’t about to try blocking that opening with my feet.
You might be able to imagine what I was thinking as my arms slowly grew numb from holding the jacket against the window and my hair quickly grew wet from that one spot I couldn’t seem to cover. At one point I prayed that the rain would let up, and it instantly got harder. Oh well. Maybe God thought it was funny that I was getting wet. :) I probably looked pretty ridiculous.
In the midst of all of that, however, I managed to think, “Wow, this would make an awesome illustration for a post!”
(Yes, we’re coming to the point.)
As I sat in the car growing wetter by the minute, it occurred to me that my situation was a lot like life. We live in our little bubble of safety, but there’s always that one crack where the troubles, the worries, and the fears pour in. Sometimes they come slowly, like a light rain, and you can almost convince yourself that they aren’t really there. But often they come fast and heavy, and pour through that weak spot before you have time to react.
You spin around to the backseat (not sure what that would be in this illustration) and grab whatever is lying around. You stuff it against the crack, determined not to let the troubles, the pain through. But the longer you try to hold them out, the weaker you seem to get, and there’s no sign that they’re going to let up anytime soon.
Here’s the deal: You can’t keep the rain out on your own. And the rain will come. The trick is to be prepared for it, and to know that there is help when it does come.
Jesus gives us the strength to face the storms of life. By spending time with Him before the storms come, we make smaller the crack that they use to get in. When they do find their way in, we don’t have to fight them in our own strength. God is with us. He may keep us dry, and He may let us get a little wet. Either way, He is guiding us into a closer, deeper relationship with Him. The trials in our life are daunting and terrifying if we try to face them on our own. When we see that God is on our side, however, we realize that He is greater than all of those things. He has the power to turn them aside, or, if need be, use them to help us grow in ways we can’t even comprehend.
If that made any sense at all, praise God! :) Since God’s word has more truth and understanding than anything I could ever say, let me leave you with a few verses:
Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:28-31)
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matthew 11:28-29)
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4)
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)