Monday, May 3, 2010
It’s raining today. I looked out my window at the depressing grey morning. What am I going to do today? Well, I won’t have to water the 62 containers in my garden!
I love the rain. Maybe it’s because I spent most of my life living in an arid state. Sometimes though, I wouldn’t know it was raining here in Virginia if I didn’t see the wet cement on my patio. Virginia rain is a lot quieter than New Mexico rain. Living in the mountains of Northern New Mexico meant living in the lightning belt. Rainstorms were loud and bright with multiple lightning strikes and thunder booms. And the raindrops were huge. It was like being hit by large wet nickels. I remember taking my daughter up to my bedroom where two walls were window walls. Tall pines were swaying in the wind and we felt the electricity all around us. We lay on the bed and I read stories to her. Now she loves thunderstorms and finds a place to read during them. It brings back memories.
I laugh at people with umbrellas. It doesn’t seem like the rain is hard enough to bother. A few seconds out in it before ducking into a building and I hardly get wet. Of course, I don’t have to race to the Metro and off to work. My husband loves his umbrella!
When I visited Hawaii, it rained every day and I didn’t even notice. Suddenly I was just wet. The sun didn’t even get clouded over. A light mist descended and then disappeared.
I think of adversity like rain. Sometimes we get hit with big wet nickels. Sometimes it’s bearable and if we hurry to get out of it, it doesn’t bother us much. Sometimes it affects us lightly and then is gone. Sometimes it floods and we’d better hike to higher ground. But like the mist in Hawaii, the small solid drops of continuous rain in Virginia, and the drenching slaps of water in New Mexico; adversity makes things grow.
A couple of weeks ago we had a Relief Society lesson from this April’s Conference
It was All Things Work Together for Good
By Elder James B. Martino Of the Seventy
“We may never know in this life why we face what we do, but we can feel confident that we can grow from the experience.”
Elder James B. Martino said, “When I was young I looked forward to the spring of the year. As the weather warmed, I was ready for baseball to begin. Like most young boys, I would wish that I could become a great baseball player. I am reminded of a story about a very young boy with similar dreams. With the desire to become the next mighty ballplayer, he decided to go outside and practice. He held the baseball in one hand and the bat in the other, and he threw the ball into the air. With a wish to hit the ball as far as he could, he took a great swing, but the ball fell to the ground without even touching the wood of the bat. Not to be denied, he went at it again. As he was about to throw the ball in the air, his determination grew as the thought of a powerful hit came into his mind. But alas, the results were the same. The ball lay on the ground. But as any good ballplayer knows, you have three strikes before you are out. He concentrated even more, threw the ball in the air, and gave the mightiest swing he had ever attempted. As the ball again fell to the ground, the tears began to swell in his eyes. Then all of a sudden a great smile appeared, and he said, “What a pitcher!”
Each of us will face trials and tests, and as in this simplistic example, it is how we react to those difficulties that will determine our success and happiness. Each of us will face adversity no matter where we are. We are taught in the scriptures that there “must needs be . . . an opposition in all things.”1 We will each face times of difficulty, and the question is not when we will face them but how we face them.
The Apostle Paul taught an interesting lesson only a few years before the Saints in Rome were to face some of the most violent persecution of any Christian era. Paul reminded the Saints “all things work together for good to them that love God.” Our Heavenly Father, who loves us completely and perfectly, permits us to have experiences that will allow us to develop the traits and attributes we need to become more and more Christlike. Our trials come in many forms, but each will allow us to become more like the Savior as we learn to recognize the good that comes from each experience. As we understand this doctrine, we gain greater assurance of our Father’s love. We may never know in this life why we face what we do, but we can feel confident that we can grow from the experience.
As we pass through the trials of life, let us keep an eternal perspective, let us not complain, let us become even more prayerful, let us serve others, and let us forgive one another. As we do this, “all things [will] work together for good to [us] that love God.” I bear a solemn and certain witness that our Father loves us and He sent His Son to show and pave the way for us. He suffered, He died, and He was resurrected that we might live, and He desires that we “might have joy,” even in our trials of life. I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”
In his poem, A Rainy Day, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow writes,
‘Be still, sad heart! and cease repining; Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all, Into each life some rain must fall
Some days must be dark and dreary.
Enjoy the sunshine,
I love the rain in May—
The soft patter hitting the sidewalks.
I love the birds of May—
Singing in the early morning.
I love the warmth of May—
The sun shining on newly planted flowers.
I love the flowers of May—
Pansies, Petunias, Snapdragons, Daisies.
I love the hope of May—
Spring is here, winter’s gone,
Unless it’s this year.