By Joshua Thomas
I was inspired by an Instagram post by So Worth Loving today. There was a picture that said, “no rain, no flowers.” Isn’t that just a beautiful thought? There are times where we just spin our wheels, and feel as if we are getting nowhere. We get tired, we grow weary, and we just simply feel worthless. It’s those rainy days where you just don’t want to keep going. The truth is, and this is the truly beautiful sentiment, without rain, we never get to see the flowers bloom. When it comes to our lives, there are hard days. Maybe you’re physically exhausted or mentally drained, but some days are just difficult. In these moments, don’t lose sight of the finish line. Don’t let the worries or feelings of inadequacy prevent you from stepping into your potential. Without the rain, or the storms, there are no flowers.
My dad sent me a text this week as an encouragement. He told me about a verse that stuck out to him in both his season and mine. You see we are both in busy and new places in life, and there are moments where the chaos can make you feel like you just aren’t enough. The verse he sent me was Hebrews 13:21 which says, “Now may the God of peace, equip you with everything good for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him.” You see, on our own, we get drained easily, but with the supernatural strength of Christ, we can do more than we think is possible. This means, that in the rainy and stormy parts of your life, in Christ, you have the power to make it out.
Your life will bloom, you just have to let the rain cultivate you.
The mess in your life doesn’t define you.
We all have issues and battles we face. We also like to look at these tough parts of life and internalize it, believing that we are a problem. You are not a problem. You are not a mistake. You are worthy of love, because God made you, mess and all. I used to feel like a failure all the time. I didn’t do great in school, and it often took me longer to understand things, which meant that I had teachers who got annoyed at me. I had one teacher that said I, “wouldn’t amount to anything.” Boy, that sucks to hear, especially when I then internalized that for years. I’m a type three on the enneagram, meaning that I’m an achiever. I also like to win, so I would always try to prove that teacher or others wrong. So, after school, it just continued. This past year I was a youth director, which meant I was a youth pastor without the official title. I came in during a transition, and wanted so badly to prove I was worthy of being the pastor. The thing was, I wasn’t ever going to be that there. It stunk for sure, but I had a choice to make. Would I let others define me, or would I choose to trust in what God had called me into?
You see the messy moments don’t define you. I’m not a technical pastor where I am now, but I am a pastor. I work with beautiful people every day, and I have the choice to be a pastor in their lives. No, not preaching or being weird about it, but I choose to be positive and encourage at every chance I get. I refuse to let the mess of life hold me back from being a light to others.
Rest and reflection are vital to growth.
Rain is important to bring flowers, but as people, we need to have time to let things grow. Seeds take time to take root, results aren’t always immediate. I’m impatient and love when things are quick, but I also have to remember that in life, results aren’t like this. One of the biggest things I’ve learned is how important rest is. Rest is difficult to fit in, but you have to take time to let yourself decompress. You need to have a “treat yo-self moment.” Maybe it’s getting to bed early, it might be taking a bath, reading a good book, or just going out for a walk. You need to have moments where you can stop, and simply be. In these same moments, it’s important to reflect on where you are. Ask yourself, how am I doing? What can I do better? What do I need to stop or cut out of my life? Who do I need to talk to? Who do I need to stop talking to?
We need to be willing to ask ourselves real questions, and act on the answers.
If you are struggling, talk to someone you trust. If you are surrounded by toxic people, learn to create boundaries. Being able to think about what you are learning, or what your season is teaching you, helps you become more and more the person you have been created to be. Be willing to stop and listen to what this rain is showing you.
I think about the book of Hebrews. That verse was an encouragement to the early church, believers who were in the midst of constant adversity. They were rejected and often afraid for their lives, yet in all of it, God gave them peace because in him, we have all we need. Sure, in the moment things are scary, but when we realize that God is holding us in his hands, things don’t seem so scary. We start being able to do the scary things first and get scared later. Don’t let the rough seasons cause you to lose sight of who you are. You are a beautiful creation, no one else is like you, and you have a purpose for your life. You are made for so much more than you can know.
Always remember that without rain, there are no flowers. So, take heart, you are becoming something incredible.