Ah, that smell of rain in the distance and the sight of cumulonimbus clouds building in the sky. But such a tease as all of it stays miles away from my house, never to release one single drop of precipitation near me.
Once again I watch other parts of town get rain while we continue to go days without any! I try watering my plants every day but the poor things are dying in all this summer heat! Summers in Florida are so fickle. It’s either lots of rain or none, depending on where you live. Sometimes it feels like God has forgotten all about my plants.
And sometimes it feels like He’s forgotten all about me too. I notice good things happening to others, yet not to me. “Rain” is pouring on some people yet I haven’t felt a drop in days. I’m drying out, dying — just like my plants. Why, God? What happened?
In these times we’re living in, I’m finding that I want to judge quickly, compare myself to others, and use my mouth to speak my thoughts and opinions to whomever will listen. However, I don’t think any of those are fruits of the spirit. I know God’s not mad at me and hasn’t stopped loving me, but it could explain some of these feelings — I’m looking at everyone else but me to be the problem. He’s waiting.
He’s waiting because my focus has been on all this external stuff around me. He’s waiting because I’m looking at all the negatives and “lacks” that I perceive I’m having. He’s waiting because He loves me so much He lets me rant and rave all I want until I’m so desperately missing that still small Voice in my life that I’ll shut up and take a good look at myself. And repent.
Rain will always be falling somewhere. In fact, the rain falls on the just and the unjust. (Matt.5:45) It’s not a question of whether God loves me or not, He does and always will. It’s a matter of the condition of my own heart. Am I jealous? Envious? Proud? Self-righteous?
I can tell a lot about my heart by how I respond to where the rain is falling.
Usually the problem isn’t about the things that happen or don’t happen, it’s about how I respond to them. I can’t always change or control what’s going on around me, but I can adjust my heart and how I react to those things. I can choose to be angry, bitter, and upset, or I can choose to be thankful, grateful and positive. As much as I want to put blame on someone or something else, it really is my choice.
Deut. 30:19 — This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.
Here’s the choice: life and death, blessings and curses. Every day we have choices to make — to hear and believe what’s in the media, or read and believe the Word of God. I try my best to not watch much news because it keeps me from having to repent too much, as my heart is easily moved by emotional stories (and I start judging).
I’ve been trying to count my “blessing stories” at the end of the day — those good and positive things that have happened to me throughout the day. Some of you may keep a gratitude journal in a book or app (and there are many!), but whatever you do, I highly recommend some sort of means which can help you make wise choices. I personally need the help.
When I feel like I’m forgotten by God and I see the rain on everyone else but me, I first express what’s in my heart to God (thank you David for your examples in the Psalms!) and then I make a choice to find something true, honest, just, pure, etc. (Phil. 4:8) to focus on. Gratefulness and thanksgiving keep me at peace while I’m waiting for it to rain on me.