By: Matt Boness
As I write this, it’s currently raining outside. You could classify a Missouri spring as “currently raining” most of the time. It seems like for every sunny day, we get a day and a half of rain. That’s a huge disappointment when you have a couple kids running around inside who could really use the freedom of outdoor spaces to get their energy out. But alas, it rains on despite my cries.
I relish the rain. Growing up in Arizona, whose salespitch touted the “300+ days of sun each year,” rain is a luxury. Rain means the normally dry creeks flow. Rain means the usually brown and harsh desert turns into a beautiful green, rainbow display of wildflowers. Rain means decreased wildfire behavior in a state that intimately knows the risks of wildfire.
Rain usually means good outcomes. Lakes full for recreation, aesthetics, lake houses. Plants grow for food, for beauty, for shade. Water from dammed rivers creates power. Birds need water. Bugs need water. Humans need water. That water comes from rain. With shelter, you can only live without water for a few days. It’s vital.
Our lives revolve around rain. Some of us hate rainy days while others adore them, but we all have an opinion. But, love the rain or hate it, we need it. For some of us that’s how we view our faith.
Faith, defined as complete trust or confidence in someone or something, is a belief that we all have one way or another. We have faith in our spouses to love us well. We have faith in our jobs to pay us when they say they will. We have faith in the sun to rise and warm the earth every day. For some, we have faith that God’s love and mercy is never ending and is for our good no matter the circumstances. It helps to ground us through thick and thin. The bible defines it this way, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (Heb. 11:1) Hope is eternal life and assurance in an omnipresent God who promises to care for us.
Faith, however, sometimes seems to ruin our best laid plans. It’s hard to love all the time when our faith calls us into hard decisions or situations that we don’t want to be in. To fully trust in something or someone means that you trust, even in hard times, that the end of the story is good. Like a day at the beach wasted as the storm clouds roll in, our faith isn’t always sunshine.
However, just like rain, we need faith. We need to believe that our time isn’t wasted on earth. We need faith to truly know who, what, and why we were created here in this time and in this place. We need faith to secure our hearts when tragedy strikes and situations cause us to doubt our very essence. We need faith. Faith is rain growing the crops, filling the streams, and keeping us alive. Sometimes we hate it, but we need it in one form or another to trust that things will be okay even when the world is crumbling down around us.
Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. James 5:7