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Treasure the Rain

Treasure the Rain

By Meg Daley.

It was 6:30 am. I had gotten up to go to the bathroom, only to be met by the sight of a rained-out world on a day our extended family had planned to go on an outing together. I didn’t mind the rain much. Heaven knew our bit of Southern California needed it.

On my way back to bed I paused and looked out into our garden to see a fat little brown bird hopping around, eyeing the soggy earth in hopeful expectation of finding a meaty feast in the form of a hapless almost-drowned worm.

At the moment I felt like that poor worm. The months previous had seen dark clouds slowly gathering over our little family. Our young son was facing developmental delays that affected his happiness on a daily and sometimes hourly basis in the form of frustrated, heart-wrenching tantrums. He often even awoke in the middle of the night crying out. When he was himself, he was a sweet, sensitive, affectionate, and delightful little boy. But we needed to know more about his challenges so we could better meet his growing needs, and we needed to know now, while he was still young and malleable, before the secondary and sometimes more tragic effects of low self-esteem and depression entered his tender little life as a result of his challenges.

To make matters even more challenging for us, four days earlier my husband and I had received the news that his place of employment would not be available for much longer, and as a result we would have to find a new job and a new house. In the past I had always leaped with dizzy anticipation into the arms of an unknown future, hopping the globe and chasing my destiny wherever the breeze seemed to blow me. But now I cowered in the face of such a major change coming right at this crucial time in my son’s life.

Four days had seemed like four years as I clung hour by hour to some straw of hope, usually in the form of a Scripture or quotation, in the midst of the deluge. So many great men and women down through the ages faced dark and trying times, and lived to write anecdotes or poems or hymns about them, and I clung to each one now. Sometimes I quoted one line over and over, like a mantra, just to keep my presence of mind as I continued to care for my children and tend to household duties. It was working, too.

Standing in my doorway, looking at that little brown bird, I heard the voice of comfort I have come to know so well as my Savior’s. “You’re not the earthworm, dear, but the bird. The rains and storms that I have allowed to fall on your world have provided for you a feast that you would otherwise have to dig for.” Suddenly my perspective changed. Jesus was bringing about a spiritual feast in our lives through this seemingly dark and dreary time. Treasures we would normally have to dig for were coming to the surface, the special gifts of greater closeness to Jesus and each other, greater love and appreciation for our friends and family, and a fervent desire to commit my daily needs and fears to Jesus in prayer.

Has the rain stopped? Not yet. While our prayers are being answered and our faith encouraged in so many ways, many challenges still lie ahead of us on all fronts. But we will remain bright and happy little birds even through the rain, because odd as it may sound, we’re feasting on worms!

P.S.: As if on cue, the day after my rainy day revelation, our neighbor’s eight-year-old bounded up to me and held out a handful of wiggly worms. “There’s tons more in the leaf pile if you want some,” he suggested.

That’s okay. I’ll stick with the metaphor.

It Didn’t Just Happen  

By Alice Reynolds Flower

Things don’t just happen to children of God.
They’re part of a wonderful plan.
The troubles, reverses, the sorrows, the rod
Are strokes of the Great Sculptor’s hand.
Did some dear one sicken and finally die?
Did your heart break with anguish and woe?
Did you question your Lord, and cry: “My God, why?”
Don’t question–He planned it just so.
Things don’t just happen to children of God.
The blueprint was made by His hand.
He designed all details to conform to His Son,
So all things that happen are planned.
No matter what happens to those called His own,
Events that are awful or grand,
Every trial of your life He sends from His throne;
Things just don’t happen, they’re planned.

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