Growing up I always heard, "It rains on the just and the unjust alike." I was never really sure what that meant. Did it mean that kids who wanted to play outside got rained on even if they didn't want it to rain or did it mean that the farmers who wanted it to rain were being mean to kids? Anyway, there are a lot of expressions I never really understood when I was growing up like, "If the good Lord's willing and the creek don't rise."
But my favorite misunderstood expression about water and particularly about rain was one by former baseball great Satchel Paige who once said, "Don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines."
While it seems to make sense, I don't think it is theologically sound. Why should we ever discourage someone from praying, period? To me good advice never begins with the words. "Don't pray."
Everyone knows that it's a mistake not to pray when the sun is shining. But it's foolish to compound this mistake by refusing to pray when the rain starts pouring down. Even if you haven't prayed enough in the past, this is time to start praying more than ever.
Many times, when trouble strikes, our first reaction is panic. Our first emotion is fear. We need to get past that and move more in the direction of prayer.
This is what happened to King Jeshophat when he heard the news that three armies were aligned against him, prepared to attack. The Bible says ...
Jehoshaphat was terrified by this news and begged the Lord for guidance. (2 Chronicles 20:3)
First came fear, a normal reaction.
Then came prayer.
Then came guidance.
This is where God's work in your life often begins: from a place of need, or hurt, or fear. Many who walk close to Christ can tell you that it was pain that led them to pursue a deeper walk with God. Despair can be a catalyst to experiencing God's power.
There's a reason for this. When confronted with trouble, we're more likely to shed the religious façade and get real with God. In the journey to experiencing God, this is the first step.
I hope you have a blessed week.
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Pastor James "Skip" French is the pastor of Highland Christian Church, 1500 Forest Hills Blvd., Bella Vista. Opinions expressed are those of the author.