Someone wanting the circumstances of the day to be different wrote the short poem, “Rain, rain go away, come back another day.” This simple, modern verse has its origin in poetry centuries old. Similar rhymes can be found in many societies, including ancient Greece. The modern English language rhyme can be dated to at least to the 17th century when James Howell in his collection of proverbs noted:
“Raine raine goe to Spain: faire weather come againe.”
A version very similar to the modern version was noted by John Aubrey in 1687 as used by “little children” to “charme away the Raine…”:
“Rain raine goe away Come again a Saturday.”
In these record setting, rainy days of 2018, we all understand the emotion of these authors, don’t we?!!
Humanity has always been vulnerable: we have plans for the day and yet life happens! All of our deepest desires and most careful planning for a sunny picnic or photoshoot or outing with the grandkids gets (quite literally these days) washed out. Or far more consequentially, the beans are ripe and the combine is greased and ready to go, but the mud in the fields necessitates an unwelcome and troubling delay.
What do we do with our disappointments? Maybe the first thing we do is learn from our past. The generations of those who have gone before us teach us that, yes, we will all have to deal with the randomness of the day. But, they also remind us that we are equipped to more than survive whatever storms or uncertainties are coming our way.
The simple truth is that the Christian life is built for, well, life. Life the way it is…the way it comes at us…the good days and the not good days. What we can see if we look back at history is that life is uncertain always and that we will be given the strength to not just survive but continue to find our purpose in the middle good fortune and bad occurrences, both.
The Christian is placed in a world where, in Jesus’ words, “the rain falls on the just and the unjust.” (Matt. 5:45) Jesus parabolicly teaches that in these days, the wheat and the weeds grow side-by-side. (Matt. 13:24-30) And Saint Paul reminds those who are struggling in Corinth that the “rainy days”of earthly living are temporary:
“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (II Cor. 4:17-18)
So, I am with you. I long for a solid stretch of sunshine and drying winds especially so that our farmers can get on with their important work. And for myself? To be I reminded–when I focus too much on daily details that bother, more than a prayed over future which is in God’s hands– that the sun will shine again!
Pastor Greg Johnson