Dancing in the Rain

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” (Attributed to Vivian Greene)
It’s actually true. All of us have faced, or will face adversity in our life. But it’s not the hardship, it’s how we react to it that determines joy and happiness in our lives. During times of difficulty we spend way too much time feeling sorry for ourselves, creating paths of destruction in our mind questioning and second guessing: If only I hadn’t gotten involved with that person. If only my health were better. If only I had handled my money better. If only ……… 
All of us have a choice. We can continue to grovel in self despair, or we can break out of our personal prison with a burst of thankfulness and praise and learn to dance in the rain. 
In Sitka, Alaska where I live it rains approximately 130 inches a year. By comparison Atlanta, Georgia gets somewhere between 40 and 50 inches per year. I didn’t know when I moved here that Sitka was a rain forest. And I bet you can guess what it does most days…..yep…it rains. But the rain is what keeps Sitka lush and beautiful. It keeps the salmon running. It ‘mostly’ keeps the bears away from our homes because they love the berries, the grass and the salmon that the rain brings. Without the rain, our area would die. Rain brings growth. 
Years ago Merlin Carothers wrote a book called, “From Prison to Praise.” Carothers, in this small book, tells of his own very tough start in life – including trying to run away from God at a young age – and of the transformation he found in coming to faith, and various stages thereafter. These stages included him receiving the ‘baptism of the Holy Spirit’ and learning, what he says is the powerful practice of praising God in all circumstances – especially the difficult ones. Learning to praise God in all circumstances will release the power of God into your life. (I may not agree with all of Merlin Carothers’ theology, but for a certainty, being thankful and praising God will change your life.) It almost sounds too simple, doesn’t it. But beginning your day with praise and gratitude can change your attitude, your life, and your surroundings. “Joy is certainly something we are meant to feel…But joy does not depend on feeling. We are not to rejoice because we feel joyful, rather we can expect to eventually feel joyful as a result of our rejoicing.”. 
Perhaps you are in a prison of circumstances and can see no way out. Begin today to praise God in your situation and watch Him help you break out into freedom. Let the dance begin! I Thes. 5: 16-18 
Have a beautiful day, Beloved.
Pastor Sherry