R: Mama, look, I see the sun!
Me: Yes, it is peeking out from behind the clouds, isn't it?
R: Mama, is that where Baby Reese, God and Grandma Marilyn live?
I love how Riley, my budding astronomer, is always pointing out the sun and the moon to us. Her day is broken into two bits - "when the moon is out" and when the "sun is out." Such a peaceful and beautifully simple life she leads.
Because she notices these things and is always quick to point them out, she reminds me that I don't look up often enough. Even when I'm not driving, I'm usually looking at something else, thinking about something else. Rarely taking time to appreciate the beauty of nature with those child wonder eyes.
But if you do, it's hard not to be rendered speechless at what a creative God we have. Animals, bugs, each variety of tree, mountains, lakes, waterfalls, leaves, snowflakes, clouds, planets, stars, the moon, the sun ... rainbows. How can you not call Him an artist?
But while it's easy to appreciate the things that are obviously beautiful and awe inspiring, it's just as easy to complain about the other works of art which we don't find as beautiful.
Like rain and those pesky rain clouds. This year, Seattle's infamous rainy and overcast weather has taken a toll on me. Lord.give.me.some.sun.please.
I was reading Psalm 18 the other night and ran across a verse that has (ever so slightly) changed my attitude. The Bible says David wrote Psalm 18 on the day "the Lord rescued him from all his enemies and from Saul." (v. 1) What struck me as most interesting was verse 11 in which David says that God "shrouded himself in darkness, veiling his approach with dense rain clouds."
BIG disclaimer: I'm definitely not the best resource when it comes to interpreting scripture. I'm just getting my feet wet again and not the person you want to go to for a fully educated analysis.
But... it sounds like to me that God actually used rain clouds to hide Himself, to hide his Light.
You might remember the story of Moses being in the presence of God for just a short period of time on Mt. Sinai. When he came down from the mountain, he himself was emitting light: "When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord." (Exodus 34:29)
God is described in the Bible (a few times I think) as light, our light, and too bright for any human to view.
And while you can tell me that in Psalm 18 he was hiding Himself so that he could wage war against David's enemies, I also just have to wonder if he might use rain clouds on any given day to protect us from being blinded by his glorious Light. Maybe it is in fact a sign (one of many, I believe) that he is right here, right now. In your presence. Maybe rain drops are kisses from Heaven.
Who is to say it's not the case?
Will it make you think of rain just a little bit differently this week? I know it will for me. It makes me just a bit more hesitant to complain about the rain and beg for sun.
And it may just be how I start describing rain to Ms. Riley. Glass half full (of rain water) and all.
"Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.” Genesis 9:14-16