Godly Women Blog

The Rain, the Winds and the Floods

Written by Janel Johnson

Jesus’ parable can help us find perspective in life’s trials.

It’s been a day much like any other—not enough hours to accomplish all that is necessary, rushing to meet deadlines, working to fulfill promises, frustration with no “me” time.

Sound like a familiar scene in your life too? Reflecting on three specific phrases that Jesus Christ used in a parable (Matthew 7:24-27) may help to pull our thoughts as well as our lives into perspective.Flood and muddy boots photo

The rains descended

How annoying is the constant dripping of rain? Its accompanying grayness pulls our spirits downward. Will we ever see consistent sunshine?

Which scenario fits you?

  • The computer you’ve been using to send a time-sensitive file implodes, displaying the “blue screen of death” while your help-desk technician has put you on hold interminably.
  • The baby refuses to sleep through the night so you’re sure you’re hallucinating when you see the cat lick the open butter dish on the countertop.
  • The car tire picks up a nail resulting in a flat, and your insurance can’t locate a service-repair vehicle within the covered 10-mile radius.
  • The teens are bickering with each other—again.
  • The checkbook won’t balance—again.
  • The washing machine floods your basement—again.
  • After you attend your child’s soccer match, played entirely in the rain, he tells you he needs cupcakes for tomorrow’s “teacher appreciation” luncheon.
  • You didn’t defrost anything for dinner.
  • You’re stuck in traffic on your commute home.
  • Your power goes off because the upstairs tenant ramped up his electric guitar.

These are everyday annoyances. Some are in our control; some are not. Can we open a spiritual umbrella that deflects, protects and keeps us dry?

The floods came

It sometimes feels as though we’re engulfed by a flood and we can’t breathe with the heaviness of the issues at hand and the demands on our time and energy. Will the floodwaters ever abate? Can we ever be the same again?

If you’ve watched The Weather Channel at any time in the past few weeks, you’ve no doubt become slack-jawed at the intense flooding in Arkansas and Tennessee. Whole communities are under water. You hear a statistic: “Enough water to fill a football field 44 feet deep each second the water rushes by” (did he really say each second?), but you can’t wrap your mind around the intensity of this kind of statement.

Floodwaters engulf and overwhelm. They scramble and rearrange lifestyles. They displace and relocate landmarks. They reshape and erode the ground beneath our feet.

Which of these scenarios fits you?

  • You are your ailing parent’s primary caregiver.
  • You have a special-needs child.
  • You’ve been unemployed for longer than six months.
  • An accident or illness has claimed the life of your child.
  • You have just been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.
  • Your teen is pregnant.
  • Your beloved spouse has just died.
  • You cannot have children.

These can be faith-shaking scenarios—overwhelming and engulfing in their life-altering seriousness. They scramble and rearrange our lifestyles. They displace our confidence in all that we have become to this point in time, redefining and reshaping us to the very core of our being.

Can we ask the Source for His life-saving flotation device and find a resilience we never knew we had? Can we recognize the rescue is in progress and find ourselves able to not only tread water but also to swim distances we never knew we could?

The winds blew

Science tells us that erosive wind has the potential to break rock. High-intensity winds can leave a wake of death and destruction in their paths. Warning systems are effective tools that alert us to potentially dangerous and life-threatening storms.

The tornadoes of the past few weeks have devastated parts of the southern United States. Homes have been lifted off their foundations; some have been fractured and splintered. Personal possessions have been swept away. Though many have suffered the heartache of death and destruction, weather warning systems also saved the lives of many.

Sin is like a high-intensity wind exacting its toll not only on the sinner but also on the innocent bystander. It can fracture, splinter and potentially destroy us and our loved ones. Can we be aware, attuned and alert to early warning systems?

Three phrases

Jesus’ parable was of the wise man who built his house on the rock. Let’s consider that a wise woman will also build her house on the rock. In our multitasked, overextended, knock-down, drag-out daily life, the rains descend, the floods come and the winds blow and beat on that house.

Janel Johnson photoWe may each find ourselves in one or more of these three categories at any given time. The constant annoying drip, the engulfing enormity or the destructive intensity—all contribute to our individual and collective turbulence. We habitually practice obedience to heed the Shepherd’s warning systems in times of annoying rain; we compassionately uphold our sisters and brothers in the faith when engulfed by floods; and when foundation-shattering winds blow, we seek the Source of comfort and peace, asking that His Son may soon return to calm the intensity of life’s storms.

Janel Johnson has experienced an earthquake, a tornado and a hurricane in her lifetime, but prefers an annoying rainfall.