I love rainstorms. There’s just something about the feeling of sitting inside and looking out of a window while rain is pouring that gives me a cozy feeling. It’s currently raining here, as it often does in the summers, and it’s giving me moments to think. I actually have a lot of time to think, just like most of you, in the midst of this wild ride of a year. What I love about rain is that during the storm, things can get crazy. Lightning, thunder, wind; it all goes from zero to ten quickly. The best part is, is that after the rain, the sun comes out and new life springs up.
The rhythms of life often move in the same way. We find ourselves in the midst of trouble, conflicts ranging all over the place and it can get pretty disheartening. What always amazes me though, is that after these moments of chaos, peace comes in, and growth is evident.
Without rain, growth is impossible. Sure, some things can last for a little while, but without that sustenance, life dies. Most of us have dealt with some heavy storms in our lives. I’m sure this season hasn’t been the best, and I know you have faced terrible things in your past. We all have, different battles but all with scars. I know that this pandemic may have opened some wounds for you.
I’ve been reading through the letters that Paul wrote in the new testament during this season. The early church dealt with much adversity. Worried about being imprisoned or killed for their faith, that puts a lot of stress on someone. Now in our current time, the fears may be based in something different, but Satan is still using fear to attack us. That’s one of the main strategies he uses. One thing I love that Paul addresses, is fear. He knows the danger being faced and speaks life and truth into the moment.
“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:13-14
We have a God who loves us, so much so that he died and then defeated death so we could be in a relationship with him. We must choose to stand firm in that faith. The pain will still come and fear will still try to attack, but when our foundation is firm in the truth that scripture brings, we can make it through the storm.
Everything in love.
Christians are the worst sometimes. I’ve talked to a lot of non-Christians who have either been mistreated by the church or have dealt with church hurt. I know Christians who have been hurt in the same ways. I myself have dealt with that hurt. It breaks my heart, knowing that we as Christ followers have been called to treat others with a higher standard. We must do better.
In my life, I’ve found that simply being a friend is the best tool you could ever have. People can debate your beliefs, but no one really wins in a debate. What we all need, is to be loved. I want to make sure that everyone knows that they are made in the image of God and because of that, they are so worth loving.
There cannot be strings attached to loving others. It simply means that when we are grounded in our faith, we overflow love to everyone around us.
I’ve been facing a lot of rain. I have had fears of the future and fears that I am not good enough. It stems from past hurt where I was told I wasn’t going to amount to much in school and when I was continually overlooked because I wasn’t “cool enough” in the church. These things affect me, but no more. I refuse to let the words of broken people define my identity. I don’t know what storm you may be facing, and you may be finding yourself in the midst of rain, but know, that without rain, there is no life.
Stand firm and do everything in love, fear is a liar and you are loved by the creator of all.
About the Author: Joshua Thomas is a writer by day and superhero by night. When he’s not writing and crimefighting, you can find him reading a good book, sipping warm tea, taking pictures, or dreaming. The young writer doesn’t fully know what he’s doing, but is enjoying the journey of it all. You can tweet memes at him on Twitter @joshua_thomas__ or follow his hipster photos and Jack Kerouac musings on Instagram @joshua_thomas__