Sunday, July 5, 2015

Sunshine After Rain

It is Sunday afternoon. The rain is coming down hard and fast. The trees are dancing in the wind with the accompaniment of the melodic chimes. I'm relaxing in a recliner in the living room enjoying the view from my front window.

There is something peaceful about the rain. Its steady rhythm as it beats down on the roof is somehow soothing. Sitting here I can lean back and close my eyes listening to the sound, letting my mind wander wherever it will.

Rain is a good thing.

It brings refreshment to a sun soaked earth, quenching the thirst of our tomato plants and corn and wild blackberries. It brings in cooler air to give a little relief from the heat. The tree trunks become a richer brown while the leaves boast a vivid green. The colors stand out all the more with the background of a gray sky.

I'm thankful for the rain even though it sometimes interferes with outdoor plans. It can also make visibility poor while driving. Rivers have been known to rise and cause flooding which in turn may damage houses and crops.

It's interesting to think about how rain can be both nourishing and destructive. In small amounts it provides the water that earth and its inhabitants need. On the other hand, when it rains for days it can cause all kinds of problems.

Isn't most of life like that?

Almost any activity that is helpful can also be harmful. The key is to figure out how much we need and how much is too much, which isn't always easy. Even when we carefully plan our activities, life seems to throw some surprises our way. I had planned to be at home most of last week, because I knew we'd be tired from traveling over the weekend.

All of a sudden my schedule became full and I wondered if I could manage it all.

There was something every single day except for one. Each event involved family, and although sometimes I can decline, this week it all seemed necessary. I found that by taking one day at a time, I was able to get through each activity and also find times to rest. I did pray for wisdom, and I believe God gave me the strength needed to follow through with each event.

After our travels early last week, we came home and attended a birthday party for a grandson turning six. It would have been easy to stay home and not make the 1 1/2 hour trip, but we didn't want to disappoint him. We had a wonderful time as we celebrated together. This picture sums up his excitement:

We ended the week with a cookout and fireworks at home with some of my children and grandchildren. The time spent laughing together, seeing the excitement of the children and the two sons-in-law who handled the fireworks, eating hamburgers, hot dogs, ice cream cones, and enjoying the fellowship, brought about a sense of happiness and peace, even though I was tired beforehand.

One family spent the night, and when I asked my granddaughter what she would like to have for breakfast this was her answer, “Let's have pancakes and I will help you like I always do!” Of course I had to grant her request. Ever since she was a toddler she has helped me make the pancakes whenever they would visit. She is now 9 1/2 years old. We all enjoyed the pancakes with maple syrup.

As I've been sitting here, the rain has stopped as quickly as it began and the sun is shining brightly. It reminds me that after darkness, there will always be light. We have had some sad events recently and some ongoing struggles, but even through them there are glimpses of light. God is faithful. He uses friends who pray with us, love with us and laugh with us to bring us closer to Him and each other.

Sunshine after rain is like a smile after tears.

After the rain I walked around outside and thought about a verse from a psalm that in the KJV reads, "Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning."

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