Comfort Providence Sovereignty of God

The Rainy Seasons of Life

by Ruth Rich

In the midst of life’s rainy season, when storms (especially of the same kind) are frequent, it is so easy to cry out “Why?” It is hard to accept that these distresses are God’s good and perfect gift: that these dark places are God’s will, just as much as the bright and restful places. Yet the Scripture is full of examples of people who faced struggles for extended periods of time.

Think of the little Israelite girl in Syria (2 Kings 5). Taken captive, in a strange land, quite probably separated from her family, she was old enough to remember life before Syria. She could remember the man of God in her homeland, so it is reasonable to think could remember family, friends, life as it used to be things that would cause grief and homesickness. Alone, among a pagan people, this girl apparently was not bitter (at least not by the time she expressed the desire that her master would see the man of God). Amid adversity, a long life-storm, she played an integral part in this account that reveals God’s love to all nations, all peoples.

 Look at the woman with an issue of blood (Luke 8:43 – 48). For twelve years she suffered. Her money was gone, spent on doctors who had no answers. Weary, weak, ceremonially unclean, poor as could be, her life was definitely a prolonged ‘rainy season.’ Yet she had hope and faith enough to seek out Jesus and touch the hem of His robe. She wasn’t sitting in a corner, sulking. She wasn’t indulging in a pity party. She stepped out in hope, and by faith was healed when she touched His garment.

Or consider the man born blind (John 9). Unable to do anything other than beg, this man certainly had many questions. Surely, he heard the accusations of those around. “He must have sinned!” “How his parents must have sinned to have a blind son!” And quite possibly he wondered at times if there was truth in those statements. A misfit from earliest life, he most likely had deep emotional pain. Jesus’ explanation for his situation was simply “that the works of God should be made manifest in him.” The blind man obeyed Christ’s command and washed. By faith, he was healed, and soon after he placed his faith in Jesus, the Messiah.

There are other examples. Israel (Jacob) who, after his experience at Peniel, had a perpetual limp (Gen. 32:22 – 32). Paul, with the ‘thorn in the flesh’, who begged God three times to remove it; yet God’s answer was no (2 Cor. 12:7 – 10). Timothy, who had some sort of stomach trouble and frequent ‘infirmities’ (1 Tim. 5:23). Epaphroditus, who was so sick that those with him thought he was going to die (Philip. 2:25-27). All of these were able to continue through their lives, serving God, and in most cases, bring encouragement to those around them.

You may be in a rainy season, buffeted by wave after wave of distress, frequently engulfed in the storms particular to your situation. You may feel that you sit in darkness, in a solitary place. Yet in the dark, the storm, the deafening questions, a light shines to you through words of gentle, comforting strength, “Fear not, for I am with you: be not dismayed, for I am thy God. I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness” (Isaiah 41:10). God is a refuge to which you may continually resort (Ps. 71:3); the One to whom you can pour out your heart (Ps. 62:8). Take heart, weary one, beloved child of the Father. Your sovereign God is working in and through you. It may be uncomfortable, but He has lovingly custom made the situation for you. Seek your shelter and comfort in Him. God is a refuge for us.

“In heavenly love abiding,
No change my heart shall fear;
And safe is such confiding,
For nothing changes here:
The storms may roar without me,
My heart may low be laid;
But God is round about me,
And can I be dismayed?

Wherever He may guide me,
No want shall turn me back;
My Shepherd is beside me,
And nothing can I lack:
His wisdom ever waketh,
His sight is never dim,
He knows the way He taketh,
And I will walk with Him.

Green pastures are before me,
Which yet I have not seen;
Bright skies will soon be o’er me,
Where darkest clouds have been;
My hope I cannot measure,
My path to life is free;
My Saviour has my treasure,
And he will walk with me.”

~ Anna Letitia Waring

By Pastor Wood

Carl is married to Becky and together they have three children. They live in Little River, SC where he pastors Anchor Baptist Church.

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