For 19 days in a row, it rained. Daily. I’ve been over it for about 18 days. But now, the sun is smiling and the humidity is low, so I can write about accepting the less than desirable days.
My metaphorical rainy season is also tapering off. Three months after Steve’s surgery in a snowstorm and his convalescence all spring, he finally got his neck brace off, in the heat of summer. The doctors warn us to expect pop-up showers for some time yet, but the blinding thunderstorms are over—for now.
Because that’s life. It always changes. Life is never stagnant. Times of tearing down are followed by times of building; seasons of dancing come after seasons of mourning. Hard times may feel like they’ll last forever, but they won’t.
When I considered moving to Florida, I worried how I’d handle the heat and humidity. A friend pointed out that no place is ideal. Every location has one season you wish you could change, a season that goes on way too long. But you can’t; you just need to accept it. Often, that season is winter. In Florida, it’s summer. Once I realized that, I had perspective that saw me through (for all ten months I lived there).
It’s the same with life. Every life has its difficulties, and they may last longer than we think we can bear, but then a new season takes their place.
Now that I’m ensconced in North Carolina, where summer means a perpetual sauna with permanently frizzy hair, I wonder why we ever left the ideal climate of California. After the words Cost of Living flash like a neon sign in my brain, I remember that I also missed the change of seasons. We’d have 364 near-perfect days, and then on July 4th, bundled in my winter coat and huddled under a blanket to watch the fireworks, I’d long for what I didn’t have: a sweltering summer cookout.
It’s human nature to idealize one season when we’re in the middle of another. We have short, and convenient, memories. You long for easy days and pleasant seasons, but life brings the full gamut.
The sunny days and rainy ones all come from the same hands. Good times and difficult ones alike are gifts, filtered through God’s fingers and his heart of love to us. Job, a guy who knew real hardship, asked, “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”
I want to see the traces of God’s purpose in every season. Don’t you?
See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land. The fig tree forms its early fruit; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.
As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.