Rainy days…good, bad, or indifferent? Good for vegetable gardens, flowers, ducks and frogs. If you’re a preschool teacher, they can be the epitome of evilness itself! Those darlings need to get outside and expend as much energy as possible!
Why do we assign value judgments to things that come about in the course of life? We say that something is good when it brings joy, provision, beauty, satisfaction, or amusement. Bad things are unpleasant, frustrating, or inconvenient, and may cause pain in some way. For some of us, rainy days cause headaches–there’s definitely no delight there!!
Jesus spoke about rain in Matthew 5:43-45:
You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.”
Verse 45 has been taken out of context for a very long time, by a great number of people. We quote the rainy bit whenever someone is going through a trying time, or some great difficulty in their life. But Jesus is not referring to “rain” as a bad thing. He just got finished saying that to act like our Father in heaven, we should love our enemies. Loving someone does not include intentionally making them miserable! Perhaps we saw rain as a bad thing when as children we couldn’t go outside to play, or as teens when our team couldn’t play because there were too many puddles on the field, or even as young adults with children home, stuck inside a-l-l d-a-y l-o-n-g.
But what about the farmer whose livelihood depends on those very rains to saturate the ground and sustain his crops to a full harvest? The people listening to Jesus would have been very familiar with this need for rain. What about the towns who rely on rains to fill their reservoirs to supply water for people to use for drinking, cooking, bathing, and cleaning?
Rain in itself is not “bad.” It may be inconvenient, and it may be highly destructive when there is too much of it, but it is not inherently evil.
Now that we’ve reassigned rain a value somewhere between “good” and “bad,” can we do that with other things we experience? Life happens. What value will we assign to the moments and events of our lives? One of my favorite verses is a promise from God:
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. (Romans 8:28)
Fruit requires both sunshine and rain together to grow! No matter what the weather in your life today, God has a plan to use it for your good.