It rained a little here and there in this great country of Texas. I was corrected today by a Native Texan that Texas isn't a state but rather a country. I didn't argue. One of the first things I learned here in Texas is you don't argue with a Native. Anyhow, it rained. And the world was made new again. I love to observe the sky and earth after a rain. The haze is gone. The dust is washed away. Everything is crystal clear. You can see the intricate details of each unique cloud as it dances with the light of the sun in the big blue sky. You can follow the birds flying to and fro for miles and miles. The grass seems greener and the trees seem more resolute. Flowers with their newly washed faces search for the light of the sun. Life is rejoicing in the gift of rain.
Once again, nature has a way of mirroring my faith journey. There have been times when it has rained just a little and other times when it has stormed. During the rain, it is hard to see the road ahead. The rain pounds into your skin. The hammering rain can destroy your train of thought and distract you from your goal. When it starts to rain, we look for a place to take cover. We leave the road and find a safe haven. Things may be destroyed during a particular violent rain. We may loose a few blooming flowers. A branch may break off a tree here and there. If you are in Texas, you may loose the roof on your safe haven. In New Orleans, the all-consuming rain may run over the levees and wash your safe haven away. During such events, we may get angry at the rain. We may blame the rain for destroying our happiness or taking away all the hard work we have stored up in this life. It is hard to find our joy when we are wet and cold and trying to find peace in our so called safe havens. But when the rain is over, and the sun is shining in the clear blue sky, things are put in perspective. Life becomes crystal clear. Just as the landscape is shaped by the rain swollen creeks, so am I shaped by the trials in my path. I am changed. I am made new. The dust is washed away and I am made more resolute as my face soaks up the light of my God. Just as nature is strengthen by the rain, so am I strengthened by the bumps along my road. And as the blinding storm clears away, I can see that I was not alone. In fact, I am now walking closer to the one who guided me, protected me, sometimes carried me and allowed the rain to wash me just enough. Long enough to give me the strength to keep putting one foot in front of the other as I travel on this road of life.