06 April 2011

Bring the Rain

Training ended more than a week ago, and my last days in Virginia were a whirlwind of packing, goodbyes, and last minute details. We still managed to carve out some sweet time with friends in the midst of that. All the young short-termers got together for a farewell celebration one evening, a fun time of snacks, silliness, and mustaches.
Yes, you read that right. Mustaches. 
But when the goofy pictures and joking subsided, we came together for a time of praise. We sang songs and lifted up prayers for the places and peoples around the world where we are going. It would have been a precious time under any circumstances, but it was all the more wonderful to me because it was storming. That may not sound especially remarkable given the bipolar nature of Virginia’s weather, and it’s not, so let me preface it with some background.

I love rain. Simple as that. Always have, always will. It’s a really convenient trait when you live in Florida, because lest you be deceived by our tourist-luring moniker, “The Sunshine State” gets a lot lot lot of rain. I really couldn’t tell you why I like the rain so much, but I love to play in it, listen to it, nap through it. I even have an entire playlist on my iPod of songs about rain. But perhaps the reason I like it so much is because it always reminds me of my heavenly Father, His power, His grace, and His faithfulness. One of my favorite hymns is “My Lord is Near Me All the Time”:

In the lightning flash across the sky, His mighty power I see,
And I know if He can reign on high, His light can shine on me.

I’ve seen it in the lightning, heard it in the thunder, and felt it in the rain;
My Lord is near me all the time, my Lord is near me all the time.

When the thunder shakes the mighty hills, and trembles every tree,
Then I know a God so great and strong, can surely harbor me.

I’ve seen it in the lightning, heard it in the thunder, and felt it in the rain;
My Lord is near me all the time, my Lord is near me all the time.

When refreshing showers cool the earth, and sweep across the sea,
Then His rainbow shines within my heart, His nearness comforts me.

I’ve seen it in the lightning, heard it in the thunder, and felt it in the rain;
My Lord is near me all the time, my Lord is near me all the time.

I could tell countless stories about how storms fill my heart with worship, but that night in Virginia reminded me of one in particular. As we sat there on the floor of the multipurpose room, the rain lashing the windows and providing the percussion to our songs, I closed my eyes and I was back in Haiti sitting on the floor of a house with a group of Americans just outside of Port-au-Prince.  The power and generator were both out and a Haitian storm was blowing down from the mountains with near hurricane ferocity.  We lifted up our voices in the dimness, competing to be heard over the wind and rain, singing song after song as darkness settled and the storm began to abate. We cried out “How Great is our God,” and He answered back with blinding lightning.

“I know that the Lord is great, that our Lord is greater than all gods. The Lord does whatever pleases him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths. He makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth; he sends lightning with the rain and brings out the wind from his storehouses.” –Psalm 135:5-7

With each thunder roll I felt His perfect peace and contentment; in the midst of the storm I was right where I was supposed to be. I was overwhelmed by His faithfulness that night, and I hadn’t even seen the way God would use that time in Haiti to direct me to this new adventure with Him.

Rain fight in Haiti!
“Remember your covenant with us and do not break it. Do any of the worthless idols of the nations bring rain? Do the skies themselves send down showers? No, it is you, O Lord our God. Therefore our hope is in you, for you are the one who does all this.” – Jeremiah 14:21-22

A year later, sitting in Virginia with the rain pouring down, I was once again overcome by His faithfulness. To go into all the little ways God wove things together to bring me to this specific place would take too long, so perhaps I’ll do another post on that some day. But suffice it to say that when I look back over the last year plus I can’t help but see His fingerprints on so many things. My heart was overflowing with thankfulness.

“For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” –Psalm 100:5

It was hard to leave and it is hard to be home. Coming back I am reminded about how much I love my life here. I am surrounded by people who love me and care about me. I have wonderful family and friends. An awesome church. Lazy sundrenched beach days. Barbeque. Chickfila. Friday night Bible study. Life is good. Life is comfortable. Life is easy. And in three weeks that’ll change. The two years that seemed like no big deal are beginning to feel like an eternity. The confidence and resolve that came so easily months ago are beginning to wear thin. Normally unemotional, I now find myself on the verge of tears at least once a day whenever I am reminded that I’m really only here visiting. I want to ask if I’m making the right decision, but I can’t even get the question out. I know I am. And in some ways, knowing that is even harder. I’ve always loved the quote by C.S. Lewis, “We’re not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.” And there’s the rub. Following God doesn’t keep us from pain, sometimes it leads us straight to it. His faithfulness doesn’t always protect us from hurt, but in our hurt He is always faithful. His unfailing love is our comfort (Psalm 119:76). We have His promise that He will not leave us or forsake us. He will carry us through, and comfort us when we hurt. “I, even I, am he who comforts you.” – Isaiah 51:12

When I am weak, He is faithful.
When I hurt, He is faithful.
When I doubt, He is faithful.
When I cry out, He is faithful.
When I am brokenhearted, He is faithful.

He is faithful. Praise Jesus, He is faithful! 
 And so when my strength is gone and my confidence is weak, I can walk on trusting in the faithfulness of my Lord that pours out like rain. You could blame a low pressure system for the week of rain that followed me down from Virginia and kept me from the beach during my first days home, but I prefer to think of it as God reminding me that He is near, and He is faithful. And maybe, He’s helping me get my fill of percipitation before I move to Lima, a coastal desert where it rarely rains. I’m not excited about living in a place without storms, but although I won’t have my physical reminder of God’s faithfulness, I know His fidelity remains the same.

“Where can I go from your Sprit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.” –Psalm 139:7-10

*Prayer requests*: Thank you for your prayers and encouragement as I wrap up things in the states. Less than three weeks until Costa Rica! Please lift up Steven, Kattie and baby Evelyn who arrived in Lima today. Too many months until I see them again, but can’t wait to hear about their first days in our new home town.

*Check out the song “You Were There” by Avalon, on the music player at the bottom of the page.* 


  1. Oh Lynds,
    this post made me tear up. i kinda miss the ilc, and the times we had there. praying for you as you enjoy some more days there. much love.

  2. This is a beautiful piece! Full of reminders of how faithful our God is. This blog hit some of the exact chords that I've felt through the years but never put into words. Looking forward to following your journey through this blog! Thinking and praying for you this evening :)