Dancing in the Rain

by Doug Malear on February 14th, 2011

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. James 1:1 & 2 NLT
Have you ever danced in the rain; kicked at, and splashed the water puddles along your path, while laughing out loud in the process? You might well say, “Yeah, when I was a kid of 5 or 6 years old.” There is something very freeing about dancing in the rain as an adult. The fact that you are dancing in an environment that has sent everyone else running for cover is empowering. You are throwing off restrictions that would normally dictate how you are to react in such a situation.

We learn as we grow into adult-hood that we are to come in out of the rain because of the negative aspects of not coming in; we’ll get wet, cold, mess up our hair, our clothes, and maybe even get sick, thereby creating un-necessary trouble for ourselves. So we learn that trouble and tribulation are to be avoided at all cost. I think part of what James is saying in this verse is that we should count trouble joyful for what God and the trouble can teach us, if we embrace them. I am not advocating the seeking out of problems, but in the book of John Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”(Jn 16:33 NKJ)

We will have trouble, it’s not a possibility, it’s an absolute certainty. In this fallen world we will have trouble, but because Jesus has overcome the world James tells us that facing our troubles with the right attitude and information, we can count it as an opportunity for joy. In other words, we can dance in the rain.

Children, quite often, will innocently dance in the rain and count it all joy, unconcerned with the potential negative aspects or danger associated with the coming storm. And they are oblivious to what others may think. Those things are not obstacles or hindrances to them because it’s about enjoying the adventure. Actually, it’s more of an unexpected and welcomed surprise to their day, a refreshing opportunity to grab hold of before it passes by. I believe that is, partially, the attitude or thought that James is conveying here when he says, “..... consider it an opportunity for great joy..

It’s also about an attitude of expectancy. Expecting great things to come from great challenges. It’s not about hunkering down in the storms and doggedly, by the sheer force of your will, surviving it. It’s about genuinely looking at the experience with new eyes, from a totally fresh perspective, with an attitude that asks, “What am I going to learn from this? What is God working together for good in this situation? In the book of Revelation, chapter 3 and verse 19, in the King James translation of the Bible God says, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” In the Berkley translation, the latter half of that verse reads like this, “....... So burn with zeal and change your attitude.” Your attitude will determine how you view, handle and finally resolve the diverse situations that come with life. Attitude also plays a huge part in your health and the health of your relationships.

The interesting thing about the sign I photographed for this writing is that my car broke down after I took the shot. I was on my way to a three day conference in Fort Wayne, Indiana and was traveling south through Kalamazoo, Michigan when I decided to get off the highway for a coffee. I saw the sign in my photograph in front of an insurance company so I pulled into their parking lot, turned off my car and got out my camera. The trouble started after I got the shot. I got back in the car, turned the key and it would not start.

I called my road service and waited for about an hour for a tow truck to show up and pull my car to a repair place. While I was waiting for the truck I was thinking; it’s late in the afternoon, I probably can’t get my car fixed until tomorrow, I’m going to miss the first evening of the conference and possibly the next day. I knew that I was also far from home and had no where to stay the night. I was definitely having a bit of trouble, or in other words, I was experiencing one of life’s storms. And all the while I’m sitting next to this great marquee sign that reads;

“Life is not about how to survive the storm
But how to dance in the rain.”

The whole situation is priceless and shows me, once again, how the Bible is my source for living life and knowing the Savior of my soul. The situation had James 1:1 all over it; “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy” (NLT) James is not telling us to enjoy the trouble in and of itself, but for what it can produce in us as we follow Christ.

Well, my car and I made it to the repair garage in down-town Kalamazoo just before closing. I was informed that they would look at it first thing in the morning. I thought it might be as simple as replacing the alternator (turns out I’m not much of a mechanic). I found a hotel just blocks away, got a good night’s sleep and came back in the morning. It wasn’t the alternator. It was more major (and more costly) than I had initially anticipated and it was going to take 4 or 5 hours to fix.

It was a beautiful, clear and warm, end of Summer day, so I walked through the downtown area taking in the sites. I bought a hot dog from a street vendor, found a bench, and sat there thanking God for His creation. Then I spent the rest of the day in the Kalamazoo library, reading and doing some work on my lap top computer. I got a late afternoon call from the garage to inform me that my car was done and the cost was $800. I had already missed that days workshops and talks at the conference but, I made it there for the evening service and all of the workshops and speakers the next day.

But that’s not the end of the story. I had called the General Secretary of our Fellowship while I was in Kalamazoo to let him know my situation. I told him I would be there as soon as my car was finished and ready to carry me to the conference. During my time at the conference, at different times, various ministerial brothers who had heard about my car trouble began to put money in my hand to help defray the cost of my car repair bill. The interesting thing is that what they gave me added up to $817.00

So, remember my marquee sign;

“Life is not about how to survive the storm
But how to dance in the rain”

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