Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Download MP3 (right click to save)
Now, if you're a weatherman in Seattle, Washington and you absolutely have to guess what the weather is going to be tomorrow, you should probably guess rain. Of course it's not unusual for it to rain in Seattle. It's a beautiful city with mountains, and an ocean, snow for skiing, and more rainy days than most would probably concede.
I was on an airplane and I was discussing this with a resident. And he said, "You know, there are many things people don't realize about Seattle and a lot of them don't move there because of it." And then he said, "See, we've got all these natural resources to enjoy", and then he listed some of the things I just mentioned. And then he said, "You know, we don't have an abundant annual rainfall. A lot of days there's just like a light mist; it's not all bad. Maybe that's why it's so green in Seattle." Well, you know, that's true. You can see when you fly in there it's green most of the year.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Glory of Rainy Days."
Our word for today from the Word of God is in Philippians 3:10. Paul is talking about his magnificent obsession 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." Now, here is a Christian with a restless heart; the kind we ought to have. He wants to have a deep, real, conscious sense of the presence of Christ as he moves through his day.
Now, as I read this, I'm thinking, "Man! I want this!" And then I hear, "the power of His resurrection." I love that 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 there's no Easter before there's a Good Friday.
You know, the more it rains in your life, the greener you get spiritually. That's what rain does. That's what pain does. That's what suffering does. It's the greening of us. You might need to know that right now, because is it ever raining in your life! You're going through a very long, very stormy time. Maybe it's been a while since you've seen the sun.
Consider Saudi Arabia. I mean, 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? That's 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 and no one seems to understand. Those are the times when we collapse in the arms of Jesus. We live on the promises that we usually just quote.
Maybe you've been going through a particularly hard time lately. What's the result? I'm going to guess you've been praying more, and praying more intensely than ever. I know when I'm going through those times, my awareness of God's activity in my day is so intensified. See, 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's words, "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. And it is not the sunshine that does that so much as the rain, the pain, and the suffering.
You going through a hard time? Would you let this hard time not drive you away from the Lord, not drive you into discouragement, but drive you oh so deep into the love of Jesus, and deeper than you've ever been in His enabling grace.
You may never get to a point where you're enjoying the rain, but you can love what the rain is doing.