I’m Singing in the Rain … Why?

Living in Texas this summer has certainly NOT (as in HOT) brought the loveliness of rain-fed, colorful, flowering growth.  As you know from news headlines, we have been scorched by fires with an incredibly horrendous outcome – loss of lives, loss of over 1,300 homes from just one of the 176 fires, loss of a beautiful Loblolly pine forest, and so much more.

The East Coast is writhing in floods after Hurricanes Irene and Lee.  Tropical Storm Maria is a possible threat to the East Coast, Tropical Storm Nate to Mexico.

Missouri and Oklahoma were twisted and twirled by tornados.  Japan lost so very much in the terrible earthquake/tsunami, nuclear disaster earlier this year.  Deep snows and torrential rains in the Midwest and Eastern USA made “disaster area” a common phrase.  Death, illness, divorce all bring sorrow.  Family division, foreclosures, layoffs from job, being fired, debt accumulation storms certainly stir up any calm seas we may have experienced.

What about September 11, 2001?  The tenth anniversary?  I pray for this day, that we shall not cower in fear, but stand in faith before our God, with our God, under His wings of protection.  We are to remember the many who lived through this horrific day, those who died caught in the towers, those who died while rescuing the many.  I pray that this nation would stand again as we did right after 9-11, united and able and willing to pray.  I pray that we would be a nation “under God”...truly and faithfully.

I pray for our military as they are on the front lines every day in terrible wars, conditions that are so hard and awful.  I pray for the families of those who are deployed, who are raising families with the other parent in harm’s way every day and night.  My prayers are lifted for those veterans who are living with painful, war-inflicted memories and nightmares, others with loss of limbs, veterans who fought in the VietNam War who are just now receiving a “thank you and with so many veterans living on the streets, 1,000s, 10s of thousands have died in war upon war upon war in the name of freedom.

Why, O Lord, do you stand far away?
Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?  Psalm 10:1

 

How many times have you, yourself, asked this very question?  “Why?” Understanding is not to be.  Knowledge and wisdom are used to help put out fires, to learn how to balance a budget, look for work, use the arsenal of equipment you were trained to use in battle.  Compassion is, more often than not, the johnny-on-the-spot after a disaster providing water and food, shelter and blankets; compassion sends letters to service men and women; compassion hugs; compassion loves.  But the “Why?” goes without answer in most cases.
Even Jesus asked this as He hung on the cross:   

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?  Psalm 22:1  

So I ask God to hear my cry (of course, after my why?”).

Hear the voice of my pleas for mercy,
when I cry to You for help,
when I lift up my hands
toward Your most inward sanctuary.  Psalm 28:2

I ask Him to hold my hands as I pray.  I ask Him to be near, close, sheltering and protecting.  Be my refuge, O LORD.  I ask Him to begin rebuilding lives from within, to touch hearts through disasters, to hold hands and soothe.  I love Him because He hears.  He listens and weeps with me.  
In my distress I called upon the Lord;
to my God I cried for help.
From His temple He heard my voice,
and my cry to Him reached His ears.  Psalm 18:6

I care because He cares.  I love because He loved me first.  I honor because He is honorable and to be respected.  I am constantly learning to be patient for He is patient.  He wants each and every one of us to be in His family.  So as circumstances, human sinfulness, anger, and retaliation abound in this world, God’s love never changes.  He calls us to Him.

In the midst of the storms, God brings flowerscolors, rainbows to remind us that He is God, that He created this world.  He created us.  He designed all.  He knows all.  He loves us and has never stopped.  It is we who walk away from the One Who is, from the One Who loves unconditionally.  Yes, there will be discipline for our wayward ways, for our sinfulness, for causing anger to God.

For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.  Hebrews 12:11

We may not know “why?” until we meet Him face-to-face.

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor
height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to
separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
  Romans 8:37-39

LORD, guide us in our ways, that we would stay close to You.  You are the One Who went to the Cross for our souls for my salvation.  I thank You from the very bottom of my heart, from my soul.  I love You dearly and thank You for reminding me Who You are in this world.  When things look so bad all around me, You are the Only One Who can answer “why”?  When I don’t understand, I will trust You.  When hope eludes me, I turn to You for You are Hope.  When life rocks as the open seas, I place my faith in You.   When the storms come and come again, I will seek shelter in the cleft of the RockI pray I will walk as You direct.  Keep me close so I will not stray.  With the Power in Your Name, I thank You.  I am truly blessed for I know You as my LORD and Savior.  I praise You and honor You, Jesus.  I will glorify Your Name on this earth.  Amen.


LORD, I remember the day John F. Kennedy was killed.  I remember September 11, 2001.  I remember the day my Daddy died.  Oh, how I asked “Why?” especially as a twelve year old when Daddy died. 
I remember many other storms in my life.  But what I remember most is the day I became Yours, LORD.  I stood under the umbrella and held the beautiful bouquet of love and acceptance in my heart…from You LORD.  That day was July 17, 1993.  No matter what storm may have fallen upon me that day, I have forgotten it for Your love far outweighs any disaster.

In this you rejoice, though now for a little
while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that
the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that
perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise
and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though

you have not seen Him, you love Him. Though you do not now see him, you
believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled
with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your
souls. 
1 Peter 1:6-9

We may not know nor understand the “why?”  But we will always know that our God is faithful and true.

God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Corinthians 1:9

Amen.

“Blooming in the Rain” graphic: DryIcons.com – Free Licensure

photo: satellite photo from Weather Underground, 9/9/11

Collage of 9-11-2001 photos:  Source: Wikimedia Commons
Derivative work of the following:

Taps

Is one able to see or feel the joy of the Lord amidst sorrow? 
…when a special person is gone from your life here on earth?
…when the trumpet plays “Taps” to signal that final “goodbye”?
…when a son weeps deeply for his loss?
…when my husband cries for his deep loss of his friend and Christian mentor of well over 20 years?
…when the lonely railroad whistle sounds in the background while at the cemetery?
…when the song, “500 Miles” comes to mind…

“If you miss the train I’m on, you will know that I am gone

You can hear the whistle blow a hundred miles….”
God lived through this man, JKR.
God loved this special 85 year old man.
God used JKR on this earth beautifully.
God sees fruit all over branches of trees: from the branches of JKR while on earth as well as on the trees of other men he gently and firmly called disciples of Jesus, men whom he mentored.
God knew that so many others saw Christ through this precious man, every day, everywhere.
God’s joy exuded to overflowing through this man.
God’s love shone through JKR.
As we said “goodbye” here, God opened His mighty arms for this mighty man of God as he came through the doors of heaven.
The trumpet on earth played “Taps” in honor of the Marine he was in WWII, an Iwo Jima survivor.

The trumpet in heaven honored him as well.  From all he had endured on earth, for all God entrusted to JKR, for his obedience and for his reverence to his Lord, the Lord knew His Christian soldier well.

After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! 
And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said,  
“Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.”  
At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, 
with one seated on the throne. 
Revelation 4:1-2

 

Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
with the cross of Jesus going on before.
Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe;
forward into battle see his banners go!

 

A time of joy spreads within as we know the Lord is rejoicing 
because His servant has come home. 

R
ejoice!
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.
Philippians 4:4

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; 
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

LORD, I give thanks in all circumstances.  You provide in everything, for everything.  I receive and say, “Thank You, Father”.  So whether sorrow or gladness, we rejoice and give thanks for:

  • creating such an especially fine Christian man, JKR
  • Your Christian soldier
  • his mentoring so many men
  • his being such a special friend to my husband
  • being a father to three
  • a grandfather to three
  • being a kind and gentle man
  • his wonderful smile
  • receiving him into heaven 8/28/2011
  • the ability to cry, tears
  • love
And I say, Amen.