Dancing In The Rain

By: Kristen L. McNulty

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A couple of summers ago the weather where I live took a strange turn and that summer we saw more rain than I could remember seeing any other summer. For someone who would spend their summer vacation outdoors, this wasn't a welcome change in weather patterns. It was depressing actually.

But where I saw nothing but ruined plans in every rain drop that hit the pavement, some young girls in my neighbourhood saw something completely different: an opportunity for a good time. So they put on their swimsuits and these young kids had a ball running through puddles and dancing as the rain came down. While the "respectable" stayed indoors, suffering in the humid heat, these girls danced to their hearts content in the coolness of the rain. They had the right idea.

While I watched those girls dance and laugh and shout and smile, I was reminded of other seasons in my life where it may have not been raining outside, but a storm was brewing in a much more dangerous place: my heart and my life. And as much as I would like to say that I followed that advice of Paul and used it as an "opportunity for joy", I have to admit that when the storm clouds rolled in, the last thing to come to my mind was to dance in the rain.

After all, isn't that only the normal response to a storm? Is it really so bad to brood and give in to a foul mood when life doesn't go according to plan? I've come to realize that while our first response to any storm might be less than positive, but not dancing in the rain, we're missing out on the beauty and joy that can be found even in the darker moments of life.

Because while choosing to dance in the rain may not remove the storm, it does change something. It changes us. Suddenly where we once saw only the storm, we come alive to see, taste, and experience the beauty of life that exists every day, regardless of our circumstances. And with that realization comes the freedom to have joy even when life gives us nothing to be happy about.

And when that happens, something changes. As Shakespeare wrote so profoundly in Othello: "The robbed that smiles steals something from the thief."

By dancing we no longer are victims, helpless in a fallen world. Instead we are Christ's chosen, His beloved, who are free to walk through the trenches with a smile because we know that the storm doesn't last forever and regardless of what damage it leaves behind, we've already got Someone Great on our cleanup crew.

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This devotional was aired as a part of the Making A Difference Christian Radio Show.