I love my green Hunter boots, even though I hardly ever wear them. Rain passes so quickly around here and it’s usually too warm to make wearing them worth it. Today, however, it’s been cloudy and cool so my favorite boots came out of the closet and got to tromp through the puddles. Today, I was prepared for the rain.
Rubber boots are wonderful when the skies open, of course. But how do we prepare for the rainy days of the heart or mind or soul? Well, that’s a bit of a trickier business.
Friend, I’m not sure what rain is falling on your heart right now. Maybe it’s the weather or the year coming to a close? Perhaps you’ve lost a loved one or are caring for someone with an illness…or maybe it’s you that is sick! I don’t know if your kids are struggling in school or your husband got laid off or money is going to be too tight this Christmas. It could be that something just doesn’t feel right, even if you can’t put your finger on what it is. But what I do know is that we all have troubles; big ones, small ones, ones we share and those we keep to ourselves.
Like Longfellow said, into every life a little rain must fall. But how do we keep from drowning in the rain?
Look to your people.
Who are the people in your life who just get it? Who can you turn to when your jeans don’t fit or your forgot it was pajama day at your daughter’s school? Which of your friends will walk with you when you think you’re completely failing as a mother and rejoice with you when your kid achieves what you both thought impossible?
Find those people and hold on tight with both hands. They will protect you from the rain.
Guard your time and, therefore, your heart.
Your time is precious; don’t give it all away. Save a little of it for yourself. Be greedy with it if you must.
I get up every morning at 5:45 and I’m the first person awake in my house by a full 45 minutes. What do I do with that time? Nothing monumental, really. I have a glass of water, make the coffee, do my Bible study or whatever devotional I might be working on, and I enjoy the silence. That is my time.
In those 45 minutes, I protect my heart in advance of the day ahead. When I start my morning in peace, I prepare for whatever the day may bring. I prepare for the rain. What heart time do you allow yourself each day to prepare your heart for rain? Think about it.
Keep your eyes on your own paper.
Almost nothing can make us feel more disgruntled than when we begin comparing ourselves to others. This person is more successful and that one takes better vacations. She is thinner and he is smarter. They have life all figured out and we are hanging on by our fingernails.
False, my friend. Nobody has it all figured out. There will always be somebody who is taller/shorter/smarter/richer/funnier/etc. But that’s them and that’s what is on their paper. What does your paper say? Forget everyone else. What do the people who love you say about you? What does God say about you?
Be prepared for the rain. Know the answers to those questions deep, deep within you for whenever the inevitable happens and you just can’t keep your eyes on your own paper, where they belong.
Fill your spiritual quiver with arrow prayers.
I heard about arrow prayers a few months ago and they really struck a chord with me. Simply put, arrow prayers are short and simple prayers that we can shoot straight to the heart of God.
Sometimes, when the rain of life is pouring down, we don’t have the mental or emotional space for deep prayer. That doesn’t mean our need or our feeling is any less. It just means that we might not be able to string words together like we’d otherwise like. Having a quiver full of arrow prayers at the ready helps us to be prepared.
A few of my favorite arrow prayers are:
- Come, Holy Spirit.
- My Lord and my God.
- Lord, I need you.
- The Jesus Prayer (Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.)
Put on your boots and get to it.
We can’t avoid the rains, you know. Both life and Longfellow tell us that. But we also need to remember that behind all of those rain clouds hangs the sun, waiting to shine into our lives again. And, of course, the other Son is there, too, alongside the Father and the Holy Spirit, metaphorical boots and umbrella in hand, waiting for you to turn to them.
How do you prepare for the rains that come with this beautiful life? What protects your soul from puddles and slipperiness like my favorite green boots protect my feet? Something to ponder, yes?