What If It Rains?
Today's article originally appeared in the November 2020 issue of The Gospel News in the Word Up column.
"He sendeth rain on the just and the unjust." (Matthew 5:45)
As often happens in tropical regions, an ominous rainstorm rolled in unannounced. Still 15 minutes from home, her broken passenger-side window created serious concern. Moments later she saw the swirling rain just a block or so ahead of her and immediately knew the duct-taped cardboard was no match for the storm. She prayed desperately. And God stayed the storm until my mother arrived home.
Fifty years later, when dark clouds appear while driving, I immediately recount Mom's testimony. I grew up expecting God to quiet every storm as He did for her. Sometimes innocence and faith coexist within a young heart. Early in my walk with the Lord, I carried myself with a certain naïveté, which protectively guarded my heart; but spiritual maturity brings a different level of faith.
Because, what if it rains?
Jesus warned, "For He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust" (Matthew 5:45). Throughout my life, rain has been plentiful, and much like South Florida, many of life's storms appeared with little warning.
Jesus told a parable involving a foolish man who built his house upon sand and saw it destroyed when the storm appeared. He continued His address, identifying a wise man who built his home on rock (Jesus Christ), which remained safe as it withstood the same storm (Matthew 7:24-27). But a storm, nonetheless.
So, what if it rains? When Paul was overtaken by affliction, he began to beg God's rescue until the Lord answered, "My grace is sufficient for thee; for My strength is made perfect in weakness" (1 Corinthians 12:9). God had already provided Paul all that was needed. Paul understood his request for healing had been categorically denied, as God explained Paul had received the rain gear required for the impending storm. God had deemed Paul's request a want versus a need. Paul's spiritual maturity allowed him to accept the rain.
Rain does not discriminate. It is essential for many natural reasons, but it also can serve God's spiritual purposes. God's people are best defined in the most difficult times, not by the easiest. It is much less challenging to remain faithful when the sun shines. The rain provides unbelievers with front-row, eyewitness seats to how true followers of Jesus serve courageously and faithfully during the most difficult times, answering the question, "What if it rains?"
Forty years ago, Brother Paul Palmieri returned from a missionary trip to Africa and shared a song he had learned:
There's no disappointment in Jesus (clap clap),
There's no disappointment in Jesus (clap clap).
Brother Paul said these were the only words to this simple song. Of course they were; nothing else need be said … clap, clap!
Whether sunshine or rain, there's no disappointment in Jesus. It seems that early on I used spiritual duct tape, as with my mother's window, to hold things together. But now I've found God provides better solutions, more permanent protection.
Why? Because, what if it rains?
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.