Storms bring new growth to our lives

Saturday, May 2, 2009

"Rain, rain, go away. Come again some other day." The childhood song rings out with a sigh of desperation. On any other day children would beg to watch TV and play video games, yet for some reason being imprisoned by the rain turns the ordinarily calm child into a caged lion roaming back and forth through the halls looking for something or someone to devour.

Rain draws us inward, to linger over the steaming cup of coffee, nibble away at the oatmeal raisin cookie while waiting for the beacon of sun to burst through the clouds. For Noah, "The rain continued to fall for forty days and forty nights." (Genesis 7:12, NLT)

The day the heavens opened there was completion. The rain marked the completion of great tasks that took the majority of Noah's long life. Not only was the great ark complete, it floated. Noah, his wife, three sons and three daughters-in-law occupied the mighty ship. Imagine the feelings of entrapment. Feel the weight of the walls closing in upon Noah, his family and the animals along this journey. We empathically know that on certain days the mighty vessel felt small.

Forty days and nights of rain brought with them great destruction. The rushing waters carved the landscape into new, perhaps unrecognizable features. The Bible declares that the floods came for men and women who chased after their own desires, giving little thought to the ways of God. Noah brought the warning but it fell on deaf ears. The rains brought death.

The rains also preserved and brought forth life. Noah and his family entered the ark under the promise that they would emerge. A promise that they would be spared. Forty days and 40 nights filled with hope. Hope in the certainty that God would not forget them. Hope in the certainty that God would deliver them. Hope in the certainty that God would provide for them. Pain, struggle and deliverance give way to new birth.

Spring dances around us with her rains, giving way to the surprise of summer. Storms bring about suffering, reshaping and rebirth. No one without God's intervening can outrun the rain. Intervention for Noah, his family and all who would adhere to God's voice came through the mighty ark. A picture of single deliverance pointing to the deliverer who is the living water.

Rob Hurtgen is a husband, father, minister and writer. Read more from him at

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