It was the first weekend in June, and my mother and I decided to run a 5k race. Neither of us was well prepared, but we knew we could probably pull off the short distance. We showed up to the race bright and early only to see a handful of people waiting there to run. What we had failed to notice that morning was the fact that the weather reports were calling for a torrential downpour right around the time the race would begin. Sure enough, they were right (which almost never happens – right?!) We barely got to the starting line when the heavens opened up unleashing a crazy amount of rain.
Looking back, that 5k was one of my favorite races I have ever had the chance to run.
You see, my mother and I could have backed out. We certainly wouldn’t have been the only ones to do so. We also could have complained the entire time. When we first started running, I questioned whether or not I wanted to continue. The rain was coming down so hard that I could barely keep my eyes open! Something changed, however, when I made the decision to run in spite of the rain. My mother and I ran through the storm and loved every minute of it!
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. – James 1:2-4
What made our 5k race so fun was the fact that we chose to laugh through the rain. We had to choose joy in order to enjoy ourselves. This principle is so very true when it comes to our Christian walk. The Bible pretty much guarantees suffering and trials for believers, and we have a choice to either be joyous through those times or to be miserable.
Oddly enough, the rain stopped just as my mother and I were finishing our race. By the time we got home, the sun was shining and the birds were chirping. You would have never known what we had just endured! Trials will come our way as we serve Christ, but they won’t last forever. Just as our race had a finish line, our trials will come to an end as well.
Learning to be joyous in the midst of a storm can be a great challenge. There are storms in our lives that last for days, months or even years. God never promised us a life without trials and storms, but He did promise to use these storms for good in our lives. We can also rest in the fact that He promises to be our strength as we endure the storms of this life.
The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart exults, and with my song I shall thank Him. – Psalm 28:7
Embracing the storms of life means choosing joy in our trials instead of giving in to misery.
*Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.