Isn’t this rain beautiful? We need it. I hope it is raining up north where the fires are. In case you were wondering, yes, I am on the bike today. There is no such thing as a bad day for riding - just bad gear. My rain gear covers me from head to foot. In theory (so far in my experience), I stay bone dry. Even if I get a little soggy around the edges, I’ll dry out.
Here is why rain is beautiful: it changes brown grass to green and whithered leaves to their full lushness. It washes dust and grime away leaving the air fresh and clean - something especially appreciated by allergy sufferers. Even though the skies are overcast and grey and our outdoor activities may be interrupted, rain is necessary for our very existence. There is beauty, even in its gloom.
Despite all our advances in research and technology, we still can’t make it rain on demand - at least not with any certainty and control. We are still dependent on the hydrological cycle of rain. When speaking to Job about His authority over all things, God used the rain as an example:
Who has cleft a channel for the torrents of rain
and a way for the thunderbolt,
to bring rain on a land where no man is,
on the desert in which there is no man,
to satisfy the waste and desolate land,
and to make the ground sprout with grass?
Has the rain a father,
or who has begotten the drops of dew? (Job 38:25-28 ESV)
The Psalmist also used the image of rain to evoke a response of praise to God:
Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving;
make melody to our God on the lyre!
He covers the heavens with clouds;
he prepares rain for the earth;
he makes grass grow on the hills.
He gives to the beasts their food,
and to the young ravens that cry.
His delight is not in the strength of the horse,
nor his pleasure in the legs of a man,
but the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him,
in those who hope in his steadfast love. (Psa. 147:7-11 ESV)
These biblical authors are not trying to give a scientific explanation of the hydrological cycle. They are poetically expressing the magnitude of God’s providence over all He has created - including us! Is it any wonder the psalmist sees this as a reason to worship and praise God?
“Rainy days and Mondays always get me down” sang The Carpenters. I get that. Mondays and rain can be a deadly combination for a case of the blues. On this Monday, when rain has been so needed, it isn’t quite as overwhelming. But if we were to have a week of rainy weather, I too, would be whiny and complaining. Too easily do I forget the beauty of the rain and the providence behind it.
Rain is a gift from God - both for the earth and for us as an object-lesson. Whether it is present in abundance, in over-abundance, or not at all, whether it is at the times we want it or when it is inconvenient, rain reminds us that God is faithful to care for all of His creation. As is true of most issues in life, we cannot control rain. The presence or absence of rain does not define the presence or absence of God’s watchful eye over His creation. Likewise, moments of crisis or celebration do not indicate God is present in one and not the other.
All of life is lived in God’s care. All of life is lived in His presence. All of life is accomplishing His eternal purposes even though we may be confused. I’d love it if God gave me the inside track on when, where, and how much rain should fall. It doesn’t work that way.
Nor does life. But of this we can be certain: rain or no rain, God’s providential care for all of His creation is faultless. It is a beautiful thing.