Friday, August 13, 2010

You are NOT alone

Every American should spend some time in Washington, D.C. at least once. Just make a mental note not to get stuck in rush hour traffic. (free advice)
Having visited there a few times myself, it was great to spend yesterday with my father and nephew. We walked from the Washington Monument to the World War II Monument, and then made our way over to visit President Abe. (he didn’t say much…) 

(Dad & Nephew walking National Mall)
While standing at the Lincoln Memorial, the famous speech by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was playing on a small radio device. To stand in the exact spot where he did while making his speech always stirs emotions within me – surrounded by so much history.

(Lincoln Memorial - Washington, D.C.)
As we made our way back to our vehicle, my father made the statement, “We are about to get wet, boys.” Let me say, ladies and gentleman, that when an experienced individual, such as my father, speaks - there is wisdom in it. Out of nowhere the sky opened up and began to allow buckets of elephants and rhino’s to fall upon our heads.

We found ourselves several blocks from our parked vehicle with nowhere to hide. We might as well have jumped in a pool with our clothes on – that is just how wet we were. My shoes were squishing (hate that feeling), my shirt was sticking to me, and my Christian personality was not at its peak.

Finally, I told my dad and nephew to stand in the entrance of a parking garage to dry out and I went to get the car (still several blocks away). As I RAN through the pelting rain, I began to observe the incredibly intelligent individuals who had umbrellas. I also glanced as I passed by the windows of restaurants and bars packed with people, enjoying dry and warm surroundings.

Yet, here I stood…no, here I RAN, outside in the rain….drenched.

I began to feel sorry for myself - even a bit agitated over the fact that here I was, trying to show my father and nephew a good time and…
I’m sorry to say that I had this conversation with God: “Thanks a lot, God. Trying to do something special with my family and you send this?? Why? Why me?” (don’t you feel just a little sorry for my poor soul?)

After making it to the garage where our car was parked, I just stood beside the car laughing. I began to notice the others who were returning to their vehicles – they were just as soaked as I was. Some were older, some younger, some were laughing…but most were not!

Then, in that moment, I felt God speak to me in a simple way. “See, Larry, you’re not the only one. These others – they have had to run in the rain, too. They’re just as soaked as you.”

(Rainy Day in Forest Hill, MD)
Understand, friend, you may be going through the toughest part of your personal ‘schooling’. Sure, it’s your process to endure…but you’re not the only one who has had to walk this way before. Others have in the past and are walking this same road even now. At times the unexpected storms that come mess up our best-laid plans, but in those moments be encouraged that others are ‘running in the rain with you.’ Look in the mirror, look around, take a deep breath…and just laugh.

May the joy of the Lord BE your strength when the rain comes.

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