“When it rains, it pours.”
Yes, it’s a cliché. But it’s a good one. And according to Dictionary.com it means: “When something good or bad occurs, it usually occurs more than once and often within a short period of time.”
So far this summer I’ve experienced the cliché in a bad way. I’ve had a deluge of difficulties.
My month of June began with my twin daughters graduation from high school. Although a wonderful milestone and a time to rejoice, we had THE party. *cue groan* Here in the Midwest, we have the tradition of hosting graduation parties, REALLY big graduation parties. And as the mom, I was in charge of the whole shindig—feeding over 150 guests at my house. While it was a blast, it was also a TON of work and took LOTS of time.
Somehow, during all the planning and preparing, my back decided to give me trouble. More specifically, I irritated my sciatic nerve. *cue another groan* Those who’ve had sciatic nerve issues know how painful it is (and how hardly anything helps reduce the pain!). The majority of my sciatic trouble happened at night when I was supposed to be sleeping. Yes, that meant I operated most days on very choppy, less-than-ideal amounts of sleep.
Finally, as if that weren’t enough, midway through June it really did rain and pour, and pour, and pour . . . right into our basement. Central Michigan was hit with especially hard thunderstorms one night, and we received so much rain in so little time, that flooding was widespread. The city drains couldn’t keep up with all the water. Rivers flooded. Parking lots and streets were submerged. Whole neighborhood drains backed up causing flooding in thousands of homes.
We had about two feet of water in our finished basement where I kept four bookshelves packed with books. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to save the bottom row. And one of the bookshelves fell apart before I could clear the books off. I also lost a really big bin of Christmas books I’d been collecting since my kids were little. Of course, we lost lots of other things too, but it’s always hard to lose books (can I get an Amen from my fellow book lovers?).
Thankfully, the rain has stopped (literally and figuratively). After spending hours carrying out the soggy, dripping mess of ruined carpet and furniture (and stacks of water saturated books!) the basement is drying. We’re in the process of cleaning it out and repairing damage to the walls and floors. My sciatic nerve, while not completely better, is becoming more manageable. I’m sleeping a little better. And slowly we’re beginning to see sunshine again after the rain.
As I’ve faced the pouring rain this past month, I’m reminded that God created both the rain and the sunshine. Often we like the sunny days best, don’t we? Those times when everything is going well and we’re relatively problem-free. Our American culture has taught us to seek after the sunshiny-days, to chase after happiness, to seek comfort and pleasure at all costs.
But just as our gardens and grass and earth need the rain in order to truly flourish, so do we. We can’t expect to really grow unless we experience a soaking rain from time to time. I find that in those downpours, those difficulties, when I’m exhausted and beaten down and discouraged, I turn to the Great Caretaker more readily and eagerly. When I’m at the end of myself, my need for Him is so much more evident, His presence more real, His power more visible.
Instead of always praying for sunshine and cloudless skies, perhaps sometimes we should ask for rain. And even when it pours (more than we want!), we can embrace it, asking Him to help us truly grow under his watering.