I rushed home yesterday after work so that I could get in my yard and do some much needed trimming and clipping, but after getting about halfway through the yard the heavens opened and it began to rain – not a downpour but a gentle soak… In my own estimation it was not enough to make me stop, so I pressed on and finished mowing.
Mind you, my yard was a mess from recent tornados and construction and repairs are going on, so there are building supplies and shingles and all kinds of junk in my side yard, but I was desperate to get my yard cleaned up just a little. I got tired of pulling up and seeing how unmanicured everything appeared!
But anyway, by the time I was finished, the rain was falling a little heavier and I was soaked and chilled (it was only about 70º). I put away the lawn tools, went into the house and dried off best I could! As I settled into my favorite chair, I looked out the window only to see the sun was shining! Go figure! The rain showed up just long enough to soak me while I was trying to do my yard work!
Isn’t that just how life is sometimes? My first impulse was to get irritated and frustrated which always lets me know that there was a lesson in this somewhere, although it took me until this morning to figure it out:
Sometimes rain and storms come to test our resolve – to see how committed we are to completing the task that is before us! Are we inconvenienced by them? Yes! Would it be easier to avoid these types of circumstances? Absolutely! But there are some times when conflict and inconveniences are unavoidable and you just have to push through! Some obstacles must be taken head on – endured rather than escaped! These things are necessary for us to develop the character that will sustain us when life’s challenges seem too much to bear!
I know it seems like a small thing, but for me this experience confirmed in me that sometimes we won’t be comfortable, sometimes our situation will be less than ideal, storm clouds will rise, and the winds will blow, sometimes we will be ‘soaked’ by our circumstances, but we shouldn’t allow that to derail or distract us! We just gotta keep going! As an aside to this, I also learned that if you wait long enough, the rain will stop. If I was wiser, then perhaps I would’ve paused and abandoned my efforts to impose my will on my lawn. Or, maybe it would’ve just kept raining and my lawn would’ve gotten even more untamed. Who knows?
Should I have stopped when the rain started? Perhaps. But I didn’t. The lesson, however, remains the same – endurance can be ‘waiting’ or it can be ‘pushing through.’
GOD is at work in all these things for our good!
2-4 Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.
James 1:2-4 (The Message)