Monday, June 27, 2011

Grace in the downpour

I look out the window and see sheets of rain falling, pushed sideways by the wind. Pecan limbs are breaking from trees and the crack of lightning sounds on the horizon. Just another summer afternoon thunderstorm. No great danger, but a great deal of booming thunder and windblown twigs and leaves.

Right now, I am one of those limbs--knocked down, windblown, and drenched from the downpours of my life. People are struggling through hurricanes and tornadoes all around me, and I know this storm is small in comparison. But this has been a long and steady storm. And just as I thought there was a glimpse of sunshine peeking through the clouds, just as those rays of light began to break through the darkness, clouds of circumstance filled with uncertainty and fear rolled in again. I am tired and asking how to see and hear my loving and wonderful God in this torrential downpour.

I cry out in prayer, wondering if this storm is something I have caused, this pain a result of some unwise choice or lack of understanding.

"God, show us what to do. Give us wisdom. Help us to rejoice in what you are teaching us, not just to look forward to the time when the storm passes. We are looking to you and we desperately need you."

He whispers, "You need the rain."

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4

This downpour is the working of His grace, His purposes to glorify Himself, to continue this good work He began in me and has promised to complete. The rain is stinging and cold, and its pressure seems unbearable some days as its weight presses down upon me. But I hear His voice and I know that He is in the rain just as He is in the beauty and the warmth of the sun. So I cling to Him and try to learn to dance in this rain, thanking Him for the gifts here and now that I see all around me, because I don't know when the rain is going to stop. It may be a while before we see the breaking of the clouds and the brilliant sun of a clear sky. But I know that He is here now and His grace is for the present, so I cling desperately to the truth of His love and the solid reality of His grace, poured out daily in the rain.

God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world” -- C.S. Lewis

My Gifts 11-20, seen so clearly even in the rain.
11. Red flowers planted in my pots on my back porch - a surprise gift from a friend.

12. Singing this old hymn with my oldest son.

13. My first cup of coffee after a week abstaining from it.

14. Seeing old friends with new babies and growing children.

15. A salad filled with the first grape tomatoes we have harvested from our backyard garden.

16. Kids building secret forts and finding buried treasure as they play outside.

17. Baby sparrows in our birdhouse by the gate.

18. My husband doing whatever he can to bring a smile or laugh on a day where the rain came in waves of bad news.

19. Reading to my children this biography of a man who truly trusted God to provide for everything and saw amazing things happen as he served orphans in Bristol, England.

20. The blue eyes of my daughter lighting up as she learns how to ride her new, bigger bicycle that her Papa gave her.

Loving and Learning,

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I love Jesus Christ, am a seeker of beauty, and am a grateful child of God who would be lost and hopeless were it not for His grace. I am learning to walk in love, see interruptions as divine appointments, and value people and relationships above agendas and results. I pray my life is grace-filled, and brings joy and encouragement to everyone I know and meet. We are a family of 6, built by God through love, birth, and adoption, living in the beauty and the struggle that accompanies parenting kids from hard places. Got questions? Email me at

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