Where I live, in the southeast, we have been having a tremendous amount of rain. Due to this, I have been running in the rain quite often. This morning was one of those mornings. It wasn’t actually raining when I stepped outside, but as I continued, I started to see raindrops in the, now, ever present puddles. I just kept running, hoping that the rain wouldn’t get too hard. But then I noticed something, I wasn’t getting rained on. I know that sounds strange, but it has happened before. I was running in the rain but not getting hit by the raindrops! It was like I had my own personal magic umbrella.
Of course, this phenomenon caused my brain to start churning. I have had times where I felt like I had my own personal rain cloud following me while I ran. This isn’t quite as fun as the magic umbrella.
Have you ever felt like you had your own personal rain cloud in life? Or the opposite, a magic umbrella? I know I have. There are times when it feels like everyone else is in the sun and I am in some sort of alternate universe where things are not going well. It isn’t usually catastrophic things that are happening, it’s just that life isn’t working right. Sometimes the rain begins with something that is hard to handle like thinking I lost a friend or a disagreement, but then the rain just keeps coming; the dishwasher breaks, you forget an appointment, you overcook the lasagna. You get the idea-the cloud hangs around.
What about the magic umbrella times? Those are much more fun. Those are the times when; the friend that you thought you lost, you forgive, the dishwasher breaks so you wash the dishes in the sink and have fun doing it, you forget your appointment and when you call to reschedule you make the person on the other end of the phone smile, you overcook the lasagna, so you order pizza and a movie.
The question is, if the same things happen under the rain cloud as under the umbrella, what makes the difference? There are a couple of things that I have found. The first you might not expect and you might not like the name, but I call it zen. No! I haven’t gone Buddhist. I learned this in a yoga class that I laughed myself through. Sometimes (for me most of the time) when you are doing yoga, things don’t always feel great. The stretch can hurt-for me a lot! But the idea is that we need to just feel the sensation, make no value judgement on it, and accept it. I never learned a name for this in my yoga class, so I just started thinking of it as zen. It is a way of just being in the situation you are in and not naming it good or bad, it just is.
I hope that didn’t confuse you too much. Here is an example; you missed your appointment. Most of us would say that is a negative thing. But it has already happened so instead of putting that judgement on it, why not do what the magic umbrella does and turn the missed appointment into a smile for someone else? Of course, you apologize for missing your appointment, and of course, you attempt not to do it again, but the missed appointment is now a reality, so accept it and turn it around. Don’t waste time in the rain cloud of judgements.
On the other side of the personal rain cloud are the times when you really are in a storm. Things really are a mess, and the rain just keeps falling. This is when, I think, my version of zen comes in again. Accept what is happening as a reality without judgement. It will make it much easier to handle. I am in one of those times right now and trust me, it does help. But, in the rain cloud times there is absolutely no substitute for looking up beyond the clouds to the Father. He is our shelter and He will protect and provide for us. David is such a worthy example for us when we are in the storms. David knew that his refuge and shelter was the Lord. He knew his help came from the Lord. David also knew that his very life depended on the Lord’s provision.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust…”
These are David’s words but they can become yours, not just for the stormy days, but for every day. God is your refuge, God is your fortress, and you can trust Him with your eternity.