Friday, November 02, 2007

the glory of rainy days

Taken from AWWY ... by Run Hutchcraft

Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Philippians 3:10. Paul talks about his magnificent obsession. It's the obsession really of his whole life in Christ. He says, "I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings." Here's a Christian with a restless heart - the kind we all ought to have. He wants to have a real conscience sense of the presence of Christ as he moves through his day. Now as I read this, I read the part about, "the power of His resurrection." I said, "Oh, I want that part! I love the power part." Then I find out how you get the power, because the next phrase says, "That I might know the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings." We know from Jesus' life - no Easter unless there's a Good Friday.

The more it rains in your life, the greener you get spiritually, the more alive. That's what rain does, that's what pain does, and that's what suffering does. It's the greening of us. You might need to know that right now because, man, is it raining in your life. You're going through a very long, very stormy time, and maybe it's been a while since you've seen the sun.

Consider Saudi Arabia. It almost never rains there. Is that good? Well, my wife has something on the refrigerator that says, "All sunshine makes a desert." And a life without rain is a desert. The most precious moments in your relationship with Jesus Christ come when the clouds are covering the sun. When your resources can't do a thing about that need, when very few people seem to care, or no one seems to understand or able to understand, those are the times when we collapse in the arms of Jesus. We live on the promises that we usually just quote.

And maybe you've been going through a particularly hard time lately. What's the result? I bet you've been praying more, and more intensely than ever. When I'm going through those times, my awareness of God's activity in my day is greatly intensified. I need Him so much during those hard times that I'm looking for His love, I'm looking for His involvement all day long. So guess what? I'm seeing Him more. And I'm beginning to tap into the power of His resurrection.

Paul says, "I want to know Christ. I want to know His power." And really in a figurative sense, I want to be spiritually green, I want to be alive, I want to be healthy, I want to be growing. It's not the sunshine that does that so much as the rain, and the pain, and the suffering. Are you going through a hard time? Well, let this hard time not drive you away from the Lord; not drive you into discouragement, but drive you deep into the love of Jesus and deep into His enabling grace. You may never get to enjoy the rain, but you can love what the rain is doing.

This post is more for us than for anyone else. If you like it too, that's great.

We're pretty tired and emotional. We've been worried about what God is doing with our house, struggling to juggle kids and responsibilities and money in America, and very tired of everyone being unhealthy.

This devotional served to remind us to "tap into the power of His resurrection." All sunshine makes a desert. We want to be growing. We're trying to see "the rain" for what it is; an opportunity to drive deep into the love and grace of Jesus and to grow.