It's dribbling. Then it pours. Then it stops. Then it dribbles some more. A wet miserable day. Everyone’s driving with their lights on. They run from place to place when they leave their cars, trying to get the umbrella open before they get soaked. They each wear some item of clothing inspired by the weather. Coats, hats, muffles or rain boots. Maybe all of them. The sky darkens and it appears evening at noon time. Most would just like to be able to curl up in front of a nice warm TV somewhere and forget about the gloom out doors. To the opposite degree, some wish for snow. There's something about snow. Even if it’s not Christmas.
The yard work goes with out getting done. The firewood doesn't get stacked like it should. We are forced to leave many things undone due to the weather. I guess the funniest thing about the weather, is how much do not enjoy it, yet need it.
Many fruit trees grow exceptionally well in some places they are not native to. Like a Washington Apple in a rainforest. But while they grow well and look beautiful, they produce no fruit because there is no winter there. Without bad weather, those wonderful wild flowers that grow so well on the hillsides along the highway would never sprout. They have no water source. The Psalmist said it well: “Sing to Jehovah with thanksgiving; sing praise on the harp to our God, who covers the heavens with clouds, who prepares rain for the earth, who makes grass to grow on the mountains” (Psalm 147:7-8, MKJV).
Actually, there are many other passages much like that one. But I want to focus on a different kind of rain. Most have heard the saying, "into every life a little rain must fall." Well, gloom aside, it is true. The rain helps us grow as much as it helps the fruit trees produce fruit. There are a hundred different examples I could give you in my own life of times that were difficult, but prepared me for an easier time later on.
David, son of Jesse, was a shepherd. He worked many hard and long hours. One day, they called him from his flock and the Prophet and Priest Samuel anointed him to be king. Now I am sure that David was more than a little surprised at this. After all, Israel had a king. Saul was their king. But, knowing who Samuel was, David accepted this. And though he was anointed king, it would be some time before he sat upon the throne. You see, he was to be the king that God wanted to take over after Saul died.
But, during the time that David waited to take the throne, he was heavily persecuted from different directions. Mostly from Saul himself. Saul had disobeyed God one time too many and the kingdom was taken from his family forever. He sought revenge for this by trying to kill David.
It was some years after David's anointing before Saul died in battle against the Philistines, Israel's greatest enemies. But something happened to David in that time. As his enemies attacked him, he grew in the wisdom of battle. When the time came to lead Israel as her king, his knowledge served him well. And of course, the most important lesson he gleaned from that time was that God is God and if he didn't serve him faithfully, he would also suffer defeat.
In my short span of life, it has been profoundly impressed upon me that when I am striving to serve my Lord with everything in me, the battles only come to make me stronger. During those hard years for David, one of the fights he had was against Goliath. I love how this conversation went. And the Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the field.” And David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of Jehovah of Hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. Jehovah will deliver you into my hand today, and I will strike you and take your head from you and give the bodies of the army of the Philistines to the birds of the air today, and to the wild beasts of the earth, so that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. And all this multitude shall know that Jehovah does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is Jehovah's, and He will give you into our hands” (1 Samuel 17:44-47). And we all know the outcome of that fight, don't we? The battle indeed is the Lords!
Matthew R. Davenport, 2004
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