In the Pouring Rain

Jack, our dog, makes me laugh when it comes to a rainy day. If we happen to be out walking somewhere, and it begins to rain, no problem. Jack continues to run around, enjoying his walk and play time, taking no notice of the torrent of water falling from the sky. However, if we are at home, and I dare to attempt taking him outside when it’s raining, he balks at the front door, gazing up with a look of sheer astonishment that I would even think of such a thing as taking him out in a cloudburst!

Sometimes I insist because I know he needs to go out. He follows on his leash as I lead the way to the garage. He then scurries forward to stand lengthwise, leaning against the door. How am I supposed to open the garage with him hugging the door? I nudge a reluctant pooch (with somewhat bulging eyes, as if I’m making him walk the plank) to the next garage, where he hugs that one, too, while I ease the car out. I open the back door. With head hanging like a vulture he jumps inside, and we’re off.

When we reach our destination, he stands in happy anticipation, seeing the park and the trees. He jumps out in great joy, ignoring the rain, to begin his running and sniffing pursuits. Oh, happy day, in spite of its fearful beginning at the garage door. I can’t help but think, at times, you and I might be a bit like this silly hound.

Father reveals part of His plan for us, but it’s raining doubts of the unknown. Head hanging in dread we tentatively step forward. Then we stop. Maybe we should bolt back to the shelter of home. It’s safer there, we tell ourselves, but the Holy Spirit urges us onward. One scary step at a time we press on. As we move we begin to see more of the plan unfold before us. Oh yes, we reason, that makes sense. The Lord is with us, leading us, gently helping us away from the door of perceived safety that we are leaning against, hugging its sense of security in the midst of the present cloudburst of unchartered paths ahead. We determine to be obedient in the midst of our fear. Jesus is with us, we remind ourselves. The Holy Spirit is our perfect guide, we repeat this fact to help build our own encouragement. Father’s plans are designed “for good and not disaster, to give us hope and a future,” as we read in Jeremiah 29:11. This focus on truth builds our trust as we walk on in the pouring rain of uncertainty.

Unlike Jack, shown a park with trees to sniff and squirrels waiting to be chased, we are shown a steep mountain to climb. The way is hard, but wait! Each step brings with it renewed courage. The higher we climb, strength grows. We seem, at moments, to be gliding. Of course! The Holy Spirit within us provides us with a link to Father’s own joy and His own peace. There are tears but also tranquility. There is pain but also a holy hush as we soak in the beauty of His presence with us.

We tell ourselves His guidance is so lovely that we will never hesitate again — but we do. Sometimes our lessons have to be learned over and over again. We feel a failure, but Father knows our frailties. He understand our weaknesses. His love covers all. When we are hugging the garage door of safety for the hundredth time, He is there to encourage us on — again, joyfully blessing the obedience of our every fearful step. He never gives up on us, just as I never give up on Jack.

“The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh every morning. I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in Him!'” Lamentations 3:22-24

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