My husband and I were listening to a sermon the other night from the book of James. Before the pastor began his sermon, he asked the praise band to play and sing the song Bring the Rain by MercyMe. It had been a while since I heard that song, but as soon as that sweet melody began, I quickly remembered how meaningful and moving the song is. Read the following lyrics...
Bring me joy. Bring me peace. Bring the chance to be free. Bring me anything that brings You glory. And I know there'll be days when this life brings me pain. But if that's what it takes to praise You, Jesus bring the rain.
Although the words mentioned above are lyrics in a song, they can easily be read and applied as a prayer. How easy it is to make such a proclamation during a season of life where things are good. It's easy to feel that way about the struggles of life when life isn't throwing any curve balls. But what about the times when life does? What about the times in life when the last thing you feel like doing is praying in the first place? What about those times when you are so blinded by anger and rage OR the only prayer you can muster up is one that involves the word - WHY - being repeated over and over and over?
For me, it's easier to look back at a difficult time in life and see how God used those challenging circumstances to refine and restore my heart. That is much easier than looking UP at Him DURING a difficult time...during a storm...and proclaiming in His name...Lord, if this is what it is going to take for me to praise You, then YES Jesus, bring the rain. That, my friends, is what is hard. That is what feels impossible at times. But don't you know, if that is what He asks us to do, don't you know there is a reason why?!
If we call ourselves Christians, our ultimate goal is to give Him glory...always. Why, you ask? Well, because His glory is our reward. It is a reward that we will never understand until we see Him face-to-face. What I know and what I can vouch for is that when I choose to seek His glory, both in the good times and bad, it makes all pain and suffering worth it. And ultimately, because of the beauty and mystery of His love, it turns those ugly, painful, and destructive memories into something beautiful.
Yes, Lord, bring the rain. You are worth it. Now that I know the miraculous healing power of Your love, if I had to walk down all my painful paths again, I would do it. I would do it again, Lord. I would do it, Lord, because every painful step I take is worth having Your presence and Your hand to hold.
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." -James 1:2-4 (NIV)
Continue to persevere, sweet friends!