May 30, 2008

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

Filed under: Faith Matters — Pastor Tim @ 9:42 am

The rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights….  And the waters swelled on the earth for one hundred fifty days.  Genesis 7:12,24

A number of years ago in the Peanuts comic strip, it rained and rained.  Charlie Brown stood outside, soaking wet.  And he looked up to the heavens with baseball and ballglove in his hands.  As loud as he could, he shouted, “Rain, rain, go away!  Come again another day!”  But still it poured.

The spring flooding we have received in our portion of the Midwest this year hasn’t been as bad as some other years; but there have been more tornados - many of the deadly - associated with many of these storms.  At times I have wished we could stand outside and yell at the clouds and make them stop raining.

The rains that came during the time of Noah were attributed to human corruption that led God to seek to wash away the evil with a flood.  Nowadays we tend to frown upon the suggestion that God tosses around curses when things aren’t going as God had planned.  Yet I suspect there is some sense in which God permits the consequences of human greed and apathy to flood the earth.  I believe the weather is affected to a greater extent than we usually wish to acknowledge by our practices of extracting as much energy as we can from the earth to supply our insatiable appetites for protection and comfort and speed. 

But in the end, the God who permits storms to damage the earth is also the God who tells Noah to build an ark.  The God who is unhappy with many of the decisions that we humans make is also the God who feels the pain of our condition.  The God who curses, if you will, is also the God who rescues humankind and provides for a fresh start.

We may not be able to shout (or pray) away the storms from our lives.  But we are able to place our trust in the One who created heaven and earth, and we are able to turn our lives toward compassion for others.  When we do so, then we find that we are yet embraced and nurtured by God’s promise of new life.

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