On the day of our wedding, I was anticipating becoming Mrs. Robinson and celebrating the beginning of a new journey with my husband, Jesse. About 30 minutes prior to the ceremony, there was a downpour of rain- just long enough to leave our fairytale outside wedding completely drenched. There was no time to dry the damage, so we reluctantly had to implement plan B and move everything inside the building where our reception was to take place.
My dreams of a beautiful sun-kissed June wedding by the lake suddenly shattered into pieces. I felt utterly devastated as I began to cry, testing my water-proof mascara before its original performing debut. Attempting to catch my composure, I just remember thinking, “my wedding is ruined!” That is, until someone, whom I can’t even recall, put their hand on my shoulder and reassured me that the rain on my wedding day was a sign of God’s blessing. It didn’t feel like a blessing at that moment- it felt more like a bummer than a blessing- a total damper in our plans (pun intended). But afterwards, I was pleasantly surprised at how many of our guests specifically described our ceremony as not only beautiful, but intimate.
I can remember our wedding day fondly, as it has rained many times on our anniversary over the years. And each year, as we learn to trust in God more and more, I am also reminded how the rain truly is a sign of God’s blessing. We often use the expression, “when it rains, it pours” as a metaphor of our encounter with negative circumstances- ones that seem to arrive in this extraordinary wave, creating a full domino effect of devastation. Suddenly, we find ourselves overwhelmed, flooded by life, and struggling to keep our head above water.
I guess you could say it rained very hard on our family last October, when Jesse was told by his district that due to financial strains, many teachers would be losing their jobs. You can safely guess who was one of the teachers. He was facing a lay-off after Christmas break, leaving us without full income and medical benefits. Completely devastating news when you are a one-income family. Yet, in a time when I should have been trembling, I was not shaken. Faith stirred inside me and I had peace that God was going to make a way, even when I- in my finite mind- could not fathom how.
Thanks to divine favor with his district, Jesse was recommended to another district, who oddly enough happened to have an opening for a health/physical education teacher in an unlikely time of the school year. In November, Jesse began working for his new district, restoring his job security and benefits. But devastating rain hit once more in January, which left his job uncertain once more. I am sparing details at this moment, but in due time, I will perhaps tell of this extraordinary trial with a testimony. However, I will say this: God’s plans are for good and not evil. I have complete assurance of this.
After receiving a vision from God the other day, I was prompted to read in the book of Joel. As I was reading, God drew me to a specific verse: “Rejoice in the Lord your God, for he has given you the autumn rains in righteousness. He sends you abundant showers, both the autumn and spring rains, as before. The threshing floors will be filled with grain; the vats will overflow with new wine and oil” (Joel 2: 23,24). The revelation God gave me transformed my entire perspective of the rain. Rain was not designed to be devastating. In fact, the only historical time rain was considered a devastation was the flood. Since then, God promised not to destroy the earth by flood. And thereafter, God’s people greatly rejoiced when God provided the rain.
I wasn’t certain what the verse meant exactly, but I knew I had to find out. In Biblical times, the people were incredibly dependent upon the rain for the well-being of their crops and their livelihood. There were two seasons of anticipated, abundant rain: autumn and spring. The autumn rains fell between the months of what we consider October-November. The spring rains fell between March-April. The rains were both significant of God’s faithful provision.
It was then I understood why the Holy Spirit led me to this word. When God provided Jesse with his new job in November, He provided the autumn rain. And even though we are knee deep in the trenches of a trial, I stand steadfast and believe in God’s promises. In times of drought, there is nothing more refreshing than a shower of God’s faithfulness. It is because of His faithfulness, I can be fully dependent upon Him.
Life has a tendency to knock us off our feet from time to time. In seasons such as this, we are tempted to question God. Where is He? When will He bring forth the rain? Looking back over the years of my life and marriage, I can testify that He brings “both the autumn and spring rains, just as before.” He remains the same. Yesterday. Today. Forever. And it is in the midst of such seasons that I experience intimacy with God that I would otherwise not understand. His rain floods my heart with joy. Hope springs up within me and it is well with my soul.
Even now- as I sit writing this- hearing the sounds of the rain against my window pane, I rejoice in God’s unfailing provision. If you are facing extraordinary trials, remember that God never leaves us or forsakes us and He always provides. He makes a way, where there seems to be no way. He brings forth restoration to the desolate areas of our lives. He pours out His faithfulness, just as He promises to be faithful. And just as He promised new wine and oil, His mercies are new every morning. I have assurance of the harvest and I peacefully anticipate the spring rain.
God’s Blessings (in the spring and autumn rains),
The Humble Homemaker