Outside, the rain is pouring down. I've looked out the window for sightings of cats and dogs, but only seen raindrops! We tend to not like rain very much. It gets in the way of our obsession with comfort. Rain gets in the way of the comfort of a dry day. Rain gets in the way of the comfort of nicely coiffed hair. Rain gets in the way of dry shoes and pressed clothes. It makes outdoor entertainment and activities difficult.
Few of us look out the window on a raining day and say, "What a great day!" But that's exactly what God's people in the Old Testament did. When you are living in desert-like places a rainy day is a good day. So, in the Bible rain is often used as a metaphor for blessing. The Bible talks about blessings raining down on us. Perhaps there's a connection between the way we tend to respond to rain and the way we tend to respond to blessing.
God blesses us in surprising ways, ways that don't always seem like blessing to us. He sends the rain of difficulty, not because he doesn't love us, but because he does, and he is calling out beyond ourselves to find new and deeper hope in him. He sends the rain of an honest friend to confront us with the need for growth, because he wants to bless us with maturity. He sends the rain of failure, so that we will get our identity from him and not from our acheivement. He sends the rain of want, so that we will grow in faith and courage. All of these things are blessings of his love, but we tend to not see them as blessings. In fact, in the moments when we are experiencing these things we often are tempted to question God's love.
Originally published October 11, 2011.