November 18, 2008 IOW In Other Words Tuesday
“And I don’t regret the rain,
And the nights I felt the pain,
And the tears I had to cry some
of those times along the way.
Every time my heart would break
It was just something that I had to get through
To get me to you…”
Sung by Lila McCann “To Get Me To You” (Hope floats Soundtrack)
Reading the words of this song reminds me of an elder at my church once. Just a few months before he passed away from his cancer he told me he never regretted having the disease. To him it was his cancer that drew him and the Lord closer together. He had always been a God-fearing man and to him his battle with cancer was that final testing ground of where his faith in God stood.
Cancer or not the same is true for other situations. Like the woman who told me how she felt about her past struggles. She said if going through what she did was the necessary steps it took to get her to her second marriage and two wonderful children she now has she was glad it happened as it did. God had seen her through to get her where she needed to be.
God doesn’t create these situations as if He’s up there trying to pick the best 8 out 10 people to get cancer or have their marriage fail. They are situations that just happen whether they were our choice or not.
Back in the good old days when I had epilepsy people would ask me if I thought God had done this to me. No, it was kids goofing off on a school bus that did it. He wasn’t there coaching the girl when the right time would be to strike my head.
What God is looking at is how we handle the situations we find ourselves in. Any situation can make us either bitter or better. It depends on the choice of whether we are going to turn to God or turn against Him blaming Him for all our troubles. When we choose to go with God eventually we will see that any situation that leads us to closer walk with Him or even a new walk with Him is an awesome thing.
In the midst of the storms we need to close our eyes and grab hold of the hand of God and let Him do the leading. Giving up our right to protest, to blame, to drag our feet, to put off till tomorrow, to wallow in self-pity, or to complain where we are going and how long it is taking to get there. We need to allow our faith and trust to take over where the path we find ourselves on seems dark and dreary. When we do this we will never regret the rain (the storms, struggles, difficulties) in life as they lead us closer to God.
Often what we regret is our behavior during these times, the momentary lack of faith like the disciples on the boat that night during their storm. Matthew 8:23-27 (NKJV)
23 Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. 24 And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. 25 Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” 26 But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. 27 So the men marveled, saying, “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”
We aren’t perishing or going to drown as the world would like us to believe, not if we have faith in the one who will see us through. We may end up in the water a time or two but it’s never over till its over. God isn’t asleep at the wheel of our life. He is there beside us walking us through the storms in life. Our job is to allow Him access, handing over our right to over-ride His commands as we take hold of the hand who cares, the Hand of God. As we do this we find ourselves able to boldly stand in the rain and shout “Praise the Lord for the rain” as it takes us to a closer relationship with God.
We can prepare for the rain or leave our raincoat at home, the choice is ours. God is my raincoat, the one who has seen me through many storms. The One whose wear is not worn out but is strengthen by every drop that continues to fall. I love you Jesus, I love you!
Copyright 2008 Karen J. Gillett @ Pencil Marks and Recipes Publishing