Prompted By Rain

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Today’s post is Part of a 31 Day writing series where I choose moments from my life and let them be my writing prompt for the day. Today’s thoughts were prompted by the much needed rain that came pouring down this morning. It reminded me of how much I love a cozy rainy day, but also of how sometimes depression comes like rain on my soul, and so I wanted to encourage you to praise God in the rain.

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I love a rainy day.  We are having some much needed rain in our part of the country and somehow it is fitting that it is happening on a Monday.  There is a line from a Carpenter’s song that says “rainy days and Monday’s always get me down.”  I suppose it is true sometimes that our feelings are on the downward slope when the rain is pouring and the sun is absent. Traditionally, Monday’s have always gotten a bad rap as well.

For me, Monday’s are usually my chill day.  The day I don’t feel as obligated to do house-y things.  The day I unofficially consider my day to just be.  If you add rain to the mix, then that further reinforces the freedom from doing.  It is an excuse to linger under the covers, or read a good book, or just sit and stare into space with my dreams flitting in and out of conscious thought. If there is a little thunder and lightening, even better.  It just notches the cozy up a bit.

What if the rain doesn’t make you feel cozy? What if Rainy Days and Mondays really do get you down.  What if all your days feel like a big thunderstorm that just won’t go away?  What then?

Sometimes the storms of life, or even just the rainy drizzle of life can get us down. We find ourselves hiding under the covers, not because it’s cozy, but because we just can’t find the energy or motivation to actually swing our legs over the side of the bed.  We think that life must be just one big crap-shoot and whatever happens is the luck of the draw.  I’m here to tell you that kind of thinking will get you nowhere fast.

We can’t let the thunder crash our world to pieces.  We can’t let the lightening send us cowering under the covers in fear.  We can’t let the rain melt us into nothing.  (Sorry, on a roll with the metaphors- bear with me for one more.)  When we are downtrodden by life like wet leaves under foot, we must not lose faith.

We all have storms in our lives – days that feel never ending with no hope in sight. If we expect to sail through life under sunny skies we are going to be sadly disappointed because real life includes the rain.  When the rain comes we don’t have to weather it alone. (Sorry, I like puns too.)  We have a comforter we can turn too.

Turning to God for comfort does not mean all of our problems will miraculously disappear.  That would be naive thinking.  What it does mean, is that even in the midst of our trials and depression, he will be with us.  For me, this doesn’t always bring immediate relief from my burden, but actively praying and asking God to help me bear my burden is an act of faith on my part that says I believe you are with me and that you will help me.  There are days I have to pray that prayer often.  Maybe you will too.  The best thing we can do on those rainy days and Monday’s is to give the weight of our weariness to God.

The next step is to praise God.  Even if you don’t feel like praising him, do it anyway. Tell him you love him and are thankful for his blessings, tell him you will praise him even when life is at it’s worst.  Sing a song of praise to him in spite of the fact that you may be dripping in tears.  Find scripture passages about praising God and pray those.

You may still be depressed, but you will have exercised your faith and that does three things.  It invites God to partner with you, it lets the devil know that you are not giving up and it strengthens your faith.  It says, With God I will prevail no matter what.

I’m reminded of a Casting Crowns song that says it so much better than my words.  I first heard this song a few years ago while driving home from work.  It came on the radio and immediately the tears fell because it said the words I needed to say to God – “I Will Praise You In This Storm.”

Listen close and you’ll hear him say “I’m with you” and that will be enough.  You will praise him again.

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Praising in the rain by grace,

Teresa

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Favorite Artists / Songs II – 31:17

Yesterday I gave you a list of several of my favorite secular songs.  Today, I am listing some of my favorite Christian songs.  This list will include everything from Southern Gospel to Contemporary Christian.  I mentioned yesterday that music touches a place deep in my soul.  That is certainly no less true for Christian songs. Songs of faith have a deeper meaning and help build my faith walk.  Sometimes, a sermon, or a scripture or devotional will make me think of a song and I will find myself singing the words.  The songs on this list are songs that have touched me deeply at some point in my life, or they have just made me happy to sing.

1.  Hillsongs and Darlene Zschech would be at the top of my list.  So many of their songs have made their way to the depths of my soul.  Dwelling Places , Power of Your Love, My Redeemer Lives, I will Run To You and of course the classic Shout To The Lord

2.  Casting Crowns – Praise You In The Storm

3.  Chris Tomlin – Powerful worship songs – Everlasting God, Here I Am To Worship, and Forever just to name a few

4.  Kutless – What Faith Can Do

5.  Sanctuary

6. It Is Well With My Soul

7. Sandi Patti – anything she sings.  Holy Ground

8.  The Prayer – this version is with Charlotte Church and Josh Groban or this one with Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli

9.  Did I forget to Pray – Billy Ray Cyrus (he actually has a pretty good gospel CD) And just for fun, this one with Jaci Velasques singing Come Just As You Are – And did you ever see him in Doc?  I rest my case.  That last has nothing to do with favorite songs – just threw that in as a bonus

10.  Kathy Troccoli – Go Light Your World – I love her voice

11.  Gaither Vocal Band – Michael English – I Bowed On My Knees

12.  Peace In The Valley – Elvis

13.  I Love You Lord

14.  Michael W. Smith – Above All

15.  The Getty’s – In Christ Alone, The Power Of The Cross

16.  I Surrender All

17.  Change My Heart Oh God

18.  This is My Father’s World -I searched for the best version of this song and I just found her’s and loved it. She sings it with purity.  I’m not a big bluegrass fan, but she could make me a believer.

19.  I will Sing – Don Moen

20.  Mercy Me – God With Us (All that is within me cries) or this longer version with commentary by the band.

Again, This list could have more songs and with time favorites will come and go. These songs speak to my heart and soul.  I hope you too will find comfort and joy in them and maybe you will find a new favorite.

Singing in grace,

Teresa (aka Sadie)