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Topic: Rain (09/07/04)
TITLE: Rain in My Face
By Sylvia Spielman
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I was on my way to my sister’s home to clean. She had graciously financed my husband’s funeral two years earlier. I was grateful for her help, but weary of having to give up every Saturday to pay this debt. I work during the week and Sundays are great, but they are always full of the hustle and bustle of church happenings. “What I wouldn’t give for a day off – just one Saturday to work in the yard, or paint a room, or maybe read a book!” My spirit was so agitated – I was angry.
I had been invited to take a weekend trip with my son’s family. I wanted to skip out on my sister, and pack my bags. I found myself focusing on everything negative in my life. “How am I going to pay the light bill this month; why can’t we find the water leak that is drenching the side yard; the transmission in my truck is slipping; oh, God, why am I alone??”
A hard lump rose in my throat, but I was NOT going to cry. I had cried so much over the past two years and I was not going to cry again. I turned the radio on and found an upbeat tune. I turned the volume up high -- very high. I rolled down my window and began to scream along with the radio while the cold stinging rain hit my face.
I made it to my sister’s and walked toward the house unconcerned with how much rain soaked my head. I just didn’t care. The house was empty – my sister was on another one of her shopping trips, no doubt. “God, will I ever be able to go shopping again?” I clean thoroughly and quickly when I’m angry, so I cleaned the house in record time. I scratched a note to my sister to pick up more Windex before my next visit and left.
As I cranked the truck, it began to rain AGAIN. I sighed in disgust and prepared for the thirty-minute trek home. I found myself thinking God was going to continue this “punishment” and let me slide into a ditch, or something worse. I had reached a point of dangerous complacency. I knew I was driving too fast. “Who cares,” I thought, and I eased down a little more on the accelerator. I was racing along at better than seventy miles per hour. The radio was silent. The windshield wipers were pulsating a steady, “humph, humph, humph.”
Approaching a familiar curve, I saw a small dog coming towards me on the opposite side of the road, his tail curled over his back. There in the middle of the other lane was a brown, rain-drenched terrier facing the rain and clicking along at a fast walk as if nothing else mattered. I slowed enough to watch him in my rearview mirror. He never turned his head – he never changed his gait – he never hesitated as my truck splashed even more water into his face.
I tried to resume my coldhearted mood, but I couldn’t stop thinking about the dog. It seemed as though he was smiling. “What was he smiling about? What did he have to be so happy about, walking in the cold rain? Where was he going? Where had he been?”
My driving speed slowed and a gentleness swept over my spirit. I began to think maybe the little terrier was not paying attention to the cold, stinging rain in his face because he was thinking about going home. “That’s it – he’s going home where it is warm and dry and there’s a fresh bowl of food – maybe a slice of meat on his plate.”
Finally, I understood what the Holy Spirit was telling me.
It doesn’t matter how rough it gets here. When I wander about in the world, I will go through storms. Some of those storms will bring a cold rain that will sting. All I need to remember is to hold my head high and let my spirit curl with joy. Eternity will be spent in the presence of Jesus. I don’t have to be defeated in anger because life doesn’t go my way. I have my promise . . . the promise of eternal life.
“I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”