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Friday, September 7, 2012

Sunny With a Chance of Thunderstorms

Yes, you read that right. SUNNY with a chance of thunderstorms… For all of my desert friends, what I am fixing to share will be mind-blowing to you. Brace yourself.

I grew up praying for rain. In Middle-of-No-Where, New Mexico where it rains less than 10 inches per year, a staple in bedtime prayers is, “Lord, please send your rain on this dry ground.” Right?!

Well, now I live in central Pennsylvania. I think these people have mastered the rain prayers... They experience an average 87 inches of precipitation each year. Thus far this year they have only had about 50 – the locals are complaining about the drought. I laugh.

Nearly every afternoon is accompanied by a light rain shower. My first few weeks here, I relished the rain as it is a relatively new concept for me! But now, I am wishing to see the sunshine and blue sky more often!

It even rains when there are no clouds… Yup! More than once this has been the case. I told you it would blow your mind.

This week at work, I was thankful for a finally-sunny day. My window in the office was open and I was enjoying the sound of the birds and the cool breeze. Then I heard what sounded like a shower. “Surely it can not possibly be raining AGAIN!”

I stood up from my desk and sure enough… torrential rain. From my vantage point, the sky was still blue. White, wispy clouds floated past and yet it was pouring. I was baffled.

In New Mexico, we see a dark, looming cloud from 20 miles away and even then it doesn’t usually bring rain. But here in Happy Valley, PA – this happens all the time. The clouds may be on the other side of the hill out of sight bringing a flood of moisture to the ground.

Leaving the office I became even more paranoid of the freak rain shower. I was driving into the bright blue sky and right in front of my car a lightning bold hit a tree… it was not dark and grey; I couldn’t even locate a cloud in the sky capable of producing such a powerful ray of energy! I gripped the steering wheel tighter.

If you know me very well at all, you know that I do not care for thunderstorms – ever. I began to pray on my drive home through the mysterious shower. Out loud I was thanking God for the beautiful things I noticed, simply hoping this would take my mind off of the storm and get me home. I thanked Him for the skyline and the surrounding hills covered in a blanket of fog. I continued, “God how cool would it be to see a rainbow?!” Literally seconds later, I drove up a hill and watched as a rainbow slowly began to arch across the road in front of me.
 I was in awe… it still gives me chills to think about! I pulled to the side of the road and soaked in God’s goodness.

In life, we have unexpected showers. We all know I just had one! It is a beautiful, sunshiny day and then KA-BOOM. The heavens open and you are drenched. These storms are un-forecasted, out of no-where, and by the time you realize what is happening, you are soaked to the bone without a clue of how on the blue planet this just happened.

Six months ago in the height of my delightful, spring day, I was hit with a lighting bolt from a cloud I never saw. By the time I could gather myself,  I was soaking wet, cold and alone.

What was your lightning bolt from nowhere? A relationship gone sour, the loss of a job, the betrayal of a friend, the diagnosis of cancer… These storms are sometimes more terrifying than a black cloud you can see heading your way. No one likes to be caught off guard without an umbrella and rain boots.

But, its these types of storms; a heavy shower followed by (or accompanied with) the sunshine; the rays of light are captivated in a cloud creating a rainbow; the rainbow of God’s promise never to destroy the world (your world) again.  Genesis 9:13

Even if you didn’t see the cloud – the Lord did. He knew you would be scared. He knew you would be wet. He imagined you would be in shock. He figured you would question the origin of the storm. But, He also knew that you needed to see a sign of His goodness – the hope of His promise.

So, if you are dripping from a downpour you didn’t see coming, shake it off and drive up the hill. God desires to remind you of His promise; that He will not give you more than you can bear. That He won’t take away something from you unless it will cause you harm. That He has your best interests at heart and desires for you to place your hope solely in His plan for your life.

Drowned rat with stringy, wet hair in your face, look up! Observe the rainbow and trust in the one who painted it in the sky for you.

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