Thursday, September 1, 2016
Rose Gardens Need a Little Rain
Isn't that like our personal "climates", too? One day we are bright with a sunny disposition. Things are going our way -- even the lights are turning green before we get to them. And, another day, it's cloudy, rainy with thunderstorms overtaking us. The thrills of that "shout-hallelujah" victory can be overtaken by that "woe is me"
agony of defeat.
It's inevitable that there will be ups and downs in our lives. Country Music singer, Lynn Anderson, made the song "Rose Garden" famous. The lyrics were: “I beg your pardon. I never promised you a rose garden. Along with the sunshine, there’s got to be a little rain sometime.”
When we read the writings of the Apostle Paul, we might think that he and Lynn Anderson were singing the same song. Paul talked a lot about suffering, but he also talked a lot about the peace of God. He was talking about a calm that comes because of God's love for us. The calm that comes even when the storm clouds gather. Paul even had the audacity to tell us to "rejoice in our sufferings"! He said in Romans 3:3-5 "We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us."
Are you kidding me? We're supposed to rejoice in our sufferings -- from being hospitalized because of an illness, to going through a divorce, to be faced with a bankruptcy, to dealing with the death of a loved one, to losing a job -- we are supposed to rejoice in those sufferings? He didn't mean for us to go "Hip hip hooray! I've lost my job; my husband passed away; the creditors are taking my car!" No, no, no. Instead, he meant that suffering is a part of life. No matter how many times we complain that life is not fair, Paul wants us to know that suffering (a little rain) is the part of our lives that helps us grow to those hope-filled people of character and determination.
What Lynn Anderson's song doesn't tell us, and what Paul wanted so desperately for us to know, is that our God loves us so much that He promised never to leave us alone. Yes, the rain comes AND suffering comes, but with God, we'll receive patient endurance. And patience leads to character. And character leads to hope. And hope will not disappoint us. That's a mighty fine recipe for pulling us from the darkest of times, to the sunshiniest times EVER. That's when we'll be singing "I'm walking on sunshine (whoa oh)! And don't it feel good!"
Labels: agony of defeat, disposition, Go with the flow, hallelujah, i beg your pardon, I'm walking on sunshine, lynn anderson, needs a little rain, romans 3:3-5, rose garden, suffering, victory
It was just "puppy love" that brought my Honey and I together at the ages of 13 and 12. We eventually married at the "mature" ages of 18 and 17. And that's when our faith journey began. Over the years, we encountered many opportunities to stretch our faith, especially when our babies were very sick, when financial situations were out of control, and when our marriage relationship had some rocky periods.But we made it through those times by our strong faith and trust in God. But never was our faith more challenged, than when my 63 years "young" husband was diagnosed with Stage 4 Kidney Cancer. Fortunately, the 44 years of marriage and faith-building experiences, caused us to "weather the storm", and still remain in peace and strong in our faith. This "peace that passed understanding" compelled me to blog and share the principles that caused our faith to be unwavering and continues to give me the joys of living large! I'm still here, so I'm not done!. I pray you will grow in your faith as you, not only read the blogs, but apply the principles to your own life -- for the good times, and especially for those times that seem so overwhelming.