“Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.” James 5:13 (NIV)
I spoke earlier in “The Summer of … Intentional Memories” about the opportunity for a road trip this summer. The plan was for a family road trip first and five days later a road trip with the kids and I. However, the morning we were to leave, two of the five of us were unable to go after all, so it was up to me to get our oldest to his destination safely.
Okay, I was ready to adjust. We all prayed in the driveway before our two boys and I headed out, and I trusted God had our back. Both boys quickly fell asleep in the pre-dawn hour and I turned on the radio for some “God and me time.”
Soon I noticed it was getting darker instead of lighter. Then I noticed some spatters on the windshield and my first thought was … “Really, God? I don’t know if I’m up for dark and rainy. I don’t like either. I can handle one or the other, but both?”
However, before that thought could settle into my spirit, I chose to “praise God for the rain.” My next prayer became, “Okay, Abba. Driving in the rain is not my idea of fun, in fact it makes me nervous … really nervous. But, if this is what you are choosing for me this morning, then I’m going to praise You because I believe You are allowing the rain to protect us from something else.” At this point, I was envisioning heavier traffic, deer running out in front of me – something more dangerous than just steady rain. And then I continued to sing to the radio, thanking God when the rain lightened and gripping the steering wheel tighter to steady the car when it came down heavier.
It wasn’t until we had arrived back home and were running some errands with the rest of the family that God gave me a glimpse as to why, maybe He allowed the rain this morning. The sun was shining and it was HOT, really HOT. I had another conversation with Him: “Did You allow the rain this morning to keep the intense heat away, knowing that driving in a car for five hours with the sun beating down throughout the windshield isn’t very fun? Sometimes it’s also hard to see with sunlight glaring through the windshield. I’m really glad I chose to thank You instead of complain this morning.”
I believe God gave me a choice that morning: praise Him for the rain, trusting that His plan was the best or complain about a small inconvenience that prevented what could have been a bigger inconvenience or even a tragedy.
I don’t always get to see why God allows what He does, but I don’t have to. There are circumstances my family and I have been walking in for years and while we don’t see the answers (or reasons) why at this point, it’s simply for us to trust. And praise God through them. And I do.
What about you? What rain can you praise God for in your life that may be keeping your car cool and comfortable during a long road trip or preventing other worse trials from crossing your path?
© Cheri Swalwell 2018