Appreciating the Sunshine and the Rain

I love the sunshine.  The sun beating down on my face on a warm summer day…the way it brings clarity and beauty to almost anything it shines upon…the clear blue skies or the puffy clouds that accompany the sunshine.  Can we ever have too much sun?  Well, we all know the answer to that.  Of course, we can.   Yesterday I heard my husband say yet again how dry it is and how worried he is.  Our company is very dependent on the weather.  When it doesn’t rain, the lawns turn brown and go dormant (and sometimes die).  When the lawns turn brown, they stop growing.  When they stop growing, our lawn-mowing division runs out of work.

There is another side to this equation, though.  We have experienced too much rain, as well.  With an over abundance of rain come different problems.   When it is too wet, the lawns and plants are plagued with fungi, unsightly mushrooms, and disease.  If it continues to rain, flooding occurs and lawns and plants eventually die.

As I was thinking about the balance of sunshine and rain that the ecosystem needs to survive,  my thoughts turned to my life.  You see, we have a tendency as humans to do an awful lot of complaining about the rainy days.  When will the sun shine again?  How long will it rain?  This rain is ruining our picnic…or baseball game…or trip to the amusement park.  We feel frustrated about this thing that is beyond our control.  And, interestingly enough, we often do the same thing when it “rains” on our lives.  Bad times come and we complain.  Why me?  Why now?  “I didn’t need this right now” is often something I will murmur under my breath when something goes wrong (which begs the question -when exactly would I have liked the negative circumstances to occur? )

But just like the earth needs a balance of sunshine and rain to not only survive, but to operate at its optimum level, so we, too, need both kinds of days in our lives.  The sunny, peaceful days and the stormy, shadow-filled days.  The moments filled with confident decisiveness and the moments filled with questions and doubts.   The tears of joy and the tears of sorrow.

I don’t always understand why some have so many storms and others seem to have  a lot of sunshine.   I was talking the other day with a friend who is going through a very difficult time.  She jokingly said she is trying hard to learn the lesson the Lord wants to teach her so she can shorten the learning process!  We all sometimes feel like that, don’t we?  Let me learn the lesson, so that the rain will stop.  But sometimes there isn’t a specific lesson to be learned.  Sometimes we end up under someone else’s rain cloud (maybe a spouse’s or a child’s bad decision) or perhaps it is to further God’s kingdom.  But no matter the reason for the rain (and often we never find out why certain storms came our way), we need to make a choice to grow in our faith and trust in our Heavenly Father.  Because to choose otherwise, is to choose bitterness, resentment, or anger.

I Peter 1:6,7

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