Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Let it Rain

Isn't it fun when you can walk out your front door and see a rainbow, so close that you can almost reach out and touch it! It's beautiful to watch: rains falling, sun peeking out, revealing a path of color through the clouds of grey. A picture full of truth, often descriptive of the stormy times in our lives.

Sometimes the weather can reflect how we feel on the inside. More than I'd like to admit, the skies will dictate how my mood might turn out to be, on a given day. Several cloudy days in a row will often bring out the worst of me--all of the junk seems to rise to the surface, like the tide clearing away the debris. And then there it is: all of the ugliness, left on the shoreline of my life, waiting to be picked up and discarded.

The last several weeks have played out like I've already described. I've been dealing with multiple stresses in my life, making it hard to focus on what's important. But today was different. For awhile now, some words from a popular book have been in the back of my mind--waiting to be picked up and looked at more closely. Here are those words:

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus..." Philippians 4:6-7

I've memorized these words and pulled them out as arsenal, when necessary. But its the next few lines that really impacted me today:

"...Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy--meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you." Philippians 4:8-9

As I surrender my anxieties to God, He promises that my mind and heart will be guarded, through Christ Jesus. Ok, I can do that. I can pray, let it go, and continue to be thankful for all that I have that is good. But what's next? My answer came in the last few lines, listed above.

I need to discipline my mind to focus on what is good and think about those things. Easier said than done, I know. But like we feed our physical bodies, daily, we have to feed and renew our minds and hearts, as well. That part of me is just as much alive(if not more)than what it tangible and visible in the mirror each morning. So when I surrender and think about good things, the 'peace of God' and 'the God of peace' is with me.

I read those words, thought about it, and was feeling like the sun was shining and all was well in my world again. But God wasn't yet finished. I was getting myself ready for the day when I felt compelled to sing some favorite lyrics, aloud. After about the third song, containing phrases like 'Hosanna' and 'King of Glory', I felt a familiar presence washing over me. Like the water that was pouring over my face and the tears that soon would follow, God's spirit was upon me--draining away the sadness and all the debris that had accumulated in my life. It was incredible.

I walked away from that experience of God, changed. And I will continue to be changed, from one glory to the next...mountains and valleys in between. He is such a good God who cares about the tiniest details of our lives. His compassion and mercy fuel my desire to continue to reach out to others, even the ones that are hard to love. He knows what is best. He knows when the timing is perfect. He knows my heart and the desires that were put there. He knows my name and hears me when I call. He knows when the rain is coming and how much is needed.

And like the promise in the rainbow, we will never drown away in our struggles so long as we hold onto Him.