But about the second week of October, the rain started. It rained a lot. Then it rained a little. There were days of rest and days of relentless. Moments of hard rain, light mist, and everything in between. Even when the rain had stopped, the clouds seemed to linger.
And as the clouds have lingered, my awe has grown.
It's fall....and God's artistry, in the changing colors of the leaves, is AMAZING! Yet, I can say with all honesty, that the days I have noticed them the most are cloudy days. Days when the background is dark the leaves pop out. They look translucent. They look bright. They are colors that no crayon could duplicate. On cloudy days, right now, I wish our commute to school was 40 minutes instead of 20. More time to take in the grandeur and beauty of my precious Creator and Savior!
I got to thinking that the parallels between us and the rain, clouds, and leaves are worth pondering.
God allows situations in our lives that can be much like the rain we have seen around here the last couple of weeks ( I dare say, some of those trails can feel a bit more like Hurricane Sandy). The love of our life dies. We become sick or injured. We lose a job. A child walks away from the truths of God's Word...and walks into drugs, adulteress relationships, or even homosexuality. Heavy, heavy rain.
There is a season for everything, God says in Ecclesiastes. Praise the Lord that He promises His grace is sufficient for each season, for every plan He has for us. There is no hope outside of His promises.
But maybe we can't fully understand what those heavy rains must feel like. We have never dealt with them. All of us, though, have dealt with clouds. Some may be darker than others...but the daily trials of life are inevitable...and they can be quite painful.
They can also be revealing.
You see....as believers, we should be like the trees around Hood River this fall. The darker the sky, the brighter the color. The darker the trial, the more that Christ can be seen in our lives. Because, if He IS our life, whatever is stripped away from us just ends up revealing more of Him.
Pastor Scotty Smith said it this way in a prayer:
"Indeed, there is no greater state of blessedness than to be in Christ; and in those moments (and longer seasons) of temporary insanity when I’m tempted to think otherwise, bring me back to gospel sanity. Forgive me when I want more, think I need more, or, even worse, demand more. Free me when I think life is about Jesus plus something else. All I will ever need is Jesus plus what you choose to graciously provide. I believe, help my unbelief."
So, whatever the trial may be...because we are all facing trials of one kind or another...the question is still the same: What do your leaves look like?