Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Where Do You See God in the Rain?

A ruby-breasted hummingbird flashed his red bib as he preened in a gentle shower, a gentle shower that soon turned into a deadly downpours. One friend in my area measured 15 inches of rainfall in four days. Another friend’s three cars and items from a shed were washed away and ruined by a flooding stream during several days of heavy rain. Nature sometimes raises its fist against us.

Hummingbirds survive and even thrive in a hostile world. I once saw a hummingbird nest on a tree limb sawed off by workmen, a tiny cup with two tiny baby birds nestled inside, beaks sticking up on opposite sides of the nest. So fragile. Yet God has given these tiny birds strong wings that carry them thousands of miles to migrate south for the winter. He’s has made them resilient to wind and weather. Would he do any less for us when it comes to surviving the winters of life?

Lessons from Nature:

From nature I learn there’s beauty and order in this world. Seasons and cycles continue without fail. Flowers bloom and birds sing, even in the rain. While God called it all good, we live in a fallen world. Read Genesis 3 to understand how Adam's sin affected the earth. In our world, the lion doesn't lie down with the lamb. Hawks attack hummingbirds. And sometimes we suffer the consequences of nature gone wild.

Questions for God:

Why would a good God allow horrific havoc? Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people? Those are the age-old questions.

Hidden Blessings for Me:

I don’t know the answers to those questions, but I do know that God is good, kind and just. God is loving, faithful and compassionate. And as we take refuge in him, he offers grace. He redeems and restores bad situations.

For one thing, I draw closer to God in the hard times. And maybe getting to know God better is better than being handed an umbrella in a downpour. After all, if I truly know God, I need not worry about getting wet because I am in his care. He speaks to my heart when I don’t know where to turn. He gives me the capacity to give and forgive. As I draw closer to God, I feel his heart and he softens mine. Through tough times I learn to trust him as I discover his grace to survive.

During the havoc caused by floods and hurricanes, good people step forward to help the hurting. They offer beds and cars and food and clothing. Neighbors re-connect as they deal with power outages and closed roads and businesses. It seems the worst situations bring out the best in mankind. Maybe that’s what God is after.

Like the junk I see piled at bridges and along creek banks, tragedies wash the junk from our lives. Too often we focus on the negative--the faults, the shortcomings, the differences of opinion. But when lives are in jeopardy, when we desperately need help, none of that matters. The little things that so irritated us are washed from our lives as surely as that flotsam floating downstream.

A Prophet's Response:

Habbakkuk had the right attitude: “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior” (Habakkuk 3:17-18)

Fear Knocks; Faith Answers:

Like the strong wings God gives a hummingbird to carry it south, God gives us the tenacity and spirit to carry us upward, closer to him, in hard times. Rather than lament the sights and sounds of our fallen world, let’s live by faith in a Sovereign God. Let’s trust and rejoice in a Savior who not only saves us from sin but equips us to survive and even thrive in adversity.

No comments: