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April Showers Bring May Flowers

“Ask the Lord for rain in the spring, for he makes the storm clouds. And he will send showers of rain so every field becomes a lush pasture.” Zechariah 10:1

Much like the various times of a year, life is often described as consisting of seasons. There are seasons of planting and investing, where we are putting our time and energy into planning for the future. We can plant seeds that help us reach our goals, even if we can’t see the fruit of our efforts yet. There are seasons where we see the growth and new opportunities. We are thrilled for new beginnings and envision exciting adventures ahead. Then, there are seasons where we reap the rewards of our planting, soak up the good things and enjoy the environment around us. And there are seasons of loss and emptiness, where we thirst for more or grieve the things that are gone.

In a particularly difficult period of my life, I was inspired by someone who was embracing their similar season of loss with more faith than I knew how to muster. In the midst of it, they told a story of touring the Irish countryside and being impressed by the lush, green land around them. When they asked their tour guide about the reason the area was so green and beautiful, the guide reminded them that the beauty came from the frequent rainfall. This is when they responded to their own source of loss by saying, “Bring me joy, bring me peace, bring the chance to be free, bring me anything that brings you glory. I know there will be days when this life brings me pain, but if that’s what it takes to praise you, Jesus, bring the rain,” (song by MercyMe). Ultimately, if the rain (their greatest pain) was to bring about beauty, they determined to accept it faithfully.

The concept of rain bringing beauty was not foreign to me as a resident of the Pacific Northwest. I live in a beautiful area where I can visit rivers, mountains, ocean beaches, or forests, all within hours of my home. I know that the beauty that surrounds me comes from living in a place where it so frequently rains. However, accepting those “stormy” seasons in my personal life is not such an easy task. And, while I had previously learned to praise God through it, the idea of summoning such pain, even with knowing that it leads to good, seemed too hard of an ask. It wasn’t until I realized that the beauty on the other side of the rain made the pelting droplets seem a little more worth it, and, if I could withstand the dark days, I’d eventually see the sun again.

There are 2 things that I think make the concept of seasons so pertinent to life’s experiences. First, every season is necessary for the next. After all, we can’t harvest what wasn’t previously planted! If we didn’t take the time to learn, to invest time, to begin new habits or ventures, we’d have nothing to see when we reach the end and take a glance back. Furthermore, life would be exhausting if every day was filled with new adventures without the opportunity to experience one to the fullest. We’d lack understanding and maturity in any one area without taking the time to learn the ins & outs, to try and fail at a task, or to see a venture through to the end. And, if by chance, those great rewards were there without having put in the effort to create them, we’d likely lack true appreciation for all that it took to experience those joys. Likewise, we more fully appreciate something when we’ve known the other side: light in contrast to the dark, good in opposition to the bad, and what we have when considered alongside what we’ve lost. The second aspect of seasons that is significant is that they are temporary. While our actual experiences may span much longer than the 3 calendar months, in due time, we’ll notice that the sun will set a little later, the flowers will begin to sprout, and the birds will return to sing once more. So, my encouragement to you is that if you’re finding yourself in an uncomfortable season, one where you feel soaked by the incessant rain, up to your ankles in puddles, and barely shielded by an umbrella, that you would soon see the skies clear and the flowers begin to bloom. And, even if you never wished for the rain or even believed the season was worth it, you’d see how good came from it. May you see that your April showers will eventually yield May flowers.

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