The day before, sunshine had cast its glowing rays. The weather had been beautiful. It was warm. The forecasters called for fair conditions the following day. I had hoped that they were right because it was to be the final game of our baseball season. Fun activities were planned, including one last dinner with the players. I was looking forward to it...
Then came the rain. Just a few short hours before game-time, the showers began. Then it poured. The game was cancelled. No more baseball. Season over...and yet, the dinner would happen as planned. I arrived at the ballpark as I had so many times already this summer. The evening before, we had been sitting in the sun and cheering. Our team had won. Now, the field was soaking wet. It sat there - empty. It would remain that way for the next ten months until the 2015 season got underway. It reminded me of the good-byes that were about to take place.
Over the next several hours, players and fans stood under canopies and tarps. The clouds continued to hang low. The rain kept on coming. Yet, we were warm in our spirits because we had one another. The laughter, the love, the memories...these brought us closer as we felt the soaking downpour. His light shone through and caused us to believe in the promise that the sun would come again. We said our farewells. Hugs were passed around, and a few tears were shed. As I walked back to the car I thought, "A little rain isn't bad, really. Every soul must have its share and be reminded that the clouds will roll away in due time."
The next day dawned clear and bright. The sun had returned. The warmth was back: God's promise of renewal come to life. There was even a rainbow - a reminder that He makes beauty out of all things, even the darkest days of the heart.
I have seen my own soul's weather patterns come and go. Sometimes the sun warms deep, and the skies are cloudless. Other times, they have been nearly split open, and the rain has poured. The clouds have hung low. There seemed to have been no end to the cold, damp penetration. And yet, the sun has always come back. The Sun of my soul has kept me singing - even in the rain. The community of those around me have helped me to hope. Even when it has seemed to be the darkest, I have never been truly alone. As I have become open to Grace, I do not fear the rainy days like I used to. Because I hope in the promise they bring: greener pastures, streams in the wilderness. Just as the ground gets parched from the blazing heat, so I too go through times when I need the quenching moisture. I need to be refreshed. I need water in a dry land. The rain brings that. Since it is living water, good fruit grows in my soul because of it.
I now gaze out my window at the beaming rays. The world looks so green and fresh. Here, in this moment, I call to mind the words of John Keeble. And I breathe them in prayer, thankful for the rain:
"Sun of my soul, Thou Savior dear;
It is not night if You are near;
O may no earth-bourne cloud arise
To hide Thee from Thy servant's eyes."