Tuesday, April 29, 2014

April Showers

May, a pleasant month with warm sunny days, Mother's Day, prom, graduation, and flowers.  As a gardener, I look forward to May and roses, Dutch iris, daisies, and magnolia trees.  But before I enjoy these blooms, I watch the weather hoping for April showers. 

Whitten's Garden Center
An April shower is inconvenient if I have outside plans, but I don't think about that too much; instead,  I watch rain from the windows and picture what my thirsty flowers will look like after big drops of water beat down on their leaves.  After an April shower, I walk around my yard like a detective, searching for new life and blooms.  I actually do this until fall. If I visit a garden center early enough, I watch them water flowers, and I inspect the hanging baskets and flats of annuals like a mad scientist.

Eddie Rabbitt's I Love a Rainy Night sums up my feelings about rain.
           Showers wash
            All my cares away
            I wake up to a sunny day
            'Cause I love a rainy night
In the daytime, I watch the rain.  At night, I listen to it beating on the house and quickly move my ferns to the water.  The rain isn't comfortable, but if I want fuller, healthier ferns, I handle the inconvenience.  The rain relaxes me while I stand at the edge of the carport for my dog's last outside trip, so I sleep soundly hoping for sunny days and May flowers.

Planning this post, I found two perfect verses for an April Showers Bring May Flowers theme. Deuteronomy 32:2 Let my teaching drop as the rain.  and II Samuel 23:4 Like the tender grass springing out of the earth, By clear shining after rain. However, I came back to another verse several times, especially after Sunday's message.

for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.  Matthew 5:45 NKJ


Jesus teaches us that God shows no partiality. We are equal, for the sun rises and rain falls on us all. Rain is also, and often, used as a symbol for life's difficulties.  No one is exempt.  But, we're taught to expect rewards for our goodness.   Take care of our bodies? Good report from the doctor.  Show the boss we're dedicated? Promotion or more money.  So, rain seems unfair when we've done everything right.

I was frustrated with my so-called rainy April difficulties, replacing shrubs and a car mirror, computer woes, and a few doctor appointments.  How inconvenient for me, but YAY! sunny days are ahead. Good for me.  Then, in one week, a friend loses her mother suddenly, more than 30 people die from tornados, 17 people are displaced after a creek rises, and facebook friends request prayer for a three year old with cancer. Heavy rain on the just. Where in the world are the sunny days with May flowers? 

Sunday's message, Finding Footing in Difficult Places, was from Psalm 77.  The Psalmist is disturbed, so he is unsure of his walk with the Lord and questions his circumstances.  He wrestles to find firm ground.  It's a fight.  The Psalmist doesn't tell us when or if his circumstances changed, but we know he changed. He drew closer to God. He doesn't mention May flowers after the rain, but he finds fresh footing.  He rests firmly in God's strength and faithfulness.  http://www.concordbaptist.com/sermons/

Right words for rainy days are difficult.  To promise days of sunshine and May flowers seems as unfair as the heavy rains we WILL experience, so I'll end with another verse and words from my Grandmother King who was no stranger to rainy, unhealthy days.

And there will be a tabernacle for shade in the daytime from the heat, for a place of refuge, and for a shelter from storm and rain. Isaiah 4:6 NKJ


Where there is life, there is hope,