Showers and Flowers

Here in Lafayette, the month of April has had a soggy start. In fact, as I write this, the rainfall over the last few days has resulted in a flood warning for our area. Personally, I’m kind of sick of the rain. It’s making me grumpy.

But there’s an old adage that brings me hope. You’ve probably heard it, too. April showers bring May flowers. As dreary and wet as some of these days have been, there’s joy in the anticipation of all the bright colors and new life that are soon to come our way. This rain isn’t purposeless. It will yield a bounty of vegetation in due time.

I suspect there may be a lesson for us here that extends far beyond the weather.

In life, things can get soggy sometimes. In fact, there’s another rain-related adage that comes to mind: When it rains, it pours. One thing goes wrong, and then suddenly ten more things go wrong right behind it. Disappointments multiply. Frustration leads to more frustration. In a world that doesn’t always do what we want it to, it’s easy to get bogged down in the muddiness of life.

But what if we could step back for a moment and gain a bigger perspective? What if the rainy seasons of our lives could be seen in relationship to something greater? What if in our April showers of discouragement and frustration we could have our outlook transformed by the hope of flowers in May?

According to the Bible, these “what ifs” aren’t merely hypothetical.

For example, if you’re in a season of discipline, things may look pretty bleak at the moment. But Hebrews 12:11 offers hope: “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” There’s something better coming. The unpleasantness of the discipline will ultimately give way to righteousness.

If you’re in a season of suffering, it may feel like every day is a downpour. But consider what your suffering will bring you, according to Romans 5:3-5: “We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame.” Suffering waters the seeds of hope in our lives, causing them in due time to burst into full and radiant bloom.

If you’re in a season of trials, the sunshine of joy may be distant. But 1 Peter 1:6-7 points your gaze toward the future: “In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Your trial is intended to give way to something stunningly superior.

Rainy days are inevitable. We’re all going to have them. And for many of us, those days will turn into weeks, and those weeks may even turn into months or years. But during those times, we need not grow disillusioned by the puddles. The same God who sends down the rain also calls forth the flowers. And although you may need an umbrella today, sooner or later God will reveal the magnificent results of the work he’s been doing.

So hang in there. The flowers are coming.

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