Let it Rain
By Elaine Olson, Ph. D.
"Rain, rain, go away, come again another
day." Secretly or audibly, we've all
muttered these words. That's because, for
most of us, the thought of rain means change,
and not for the better. A good hair day goes
bad, or a golf time gets rescheduled. Maybe
the clean car of yesterday needs a return
trip to the car wash. Our tendency to associate
negative thoughts to the word 'rain' is obvious.
It's unfortunate that rain gets such a bad
rap considering the positive changes rain
can produce. Several years ago, my husband
and I went through a particularly rainy season
in our marriage. Perhaps the word 'stormy'
or the words 'torrential hurricane-like downpours'
would be a more accurate way of describing
it. My husband has even been known to call
it a 'tsunami of the soul.'
During one particularly nasty deluge, my
anger escalated like a flash flood. Anything
in my path was in real danger. The look of
panic on my young daughters' face revealed
her fearful thoughts; it's time to seek higher
ground. With this rainstorm, something or
someone had to finally change.
Desperate to know the secret that would fix
my husband, (after all, he was the one destroying
our marriage), I grabbed my bible, closed
my eyes and flopped it open. Randomly, I pointed
to some scripture on some page and opened
my eyes. I don't recommend this type of bible
study, but in my sodden condition, these words
were thrown to me like a lifeline.
has no rule over his own spirit, is like a
broken down city, without walls." --
This wasn't the lifeline I expected or hoped
for. The words appeared to be directed at
me, not my husband. Were my own actions and
attitudes contributing to the problems in
our relationship? Was my anger stirring the
Looking closer, this lifeline seemed to indicate
that it was possible to control my anger.
And in not doing so, I was allowing everything
that was important to me to be unprotected
and vulnerable. My family was at risk because
of my lack of self-control.
As I continued in prayer and reflection,
I was reminded of the life of the Apostle
Paul. Even though ship wrecked, beaten, rejected
and thrown into prison, he managed to keep
his cool. He faced many storms throughout
his life, yet his actions remained honorable.
I know very little about hydrology except
to say that rain is necessary to the cycle
of life. Rain has the ability to refresh and
makes things new. And rain is not always gentle.
Heavy rains at the right time strategically
soften hardened soil conditions preparing
the ground for new life. Over time, the seasons
of rain can change even the rockiest of landscapes.
There will always be days when we long for
the rain to 'go away and come again another
day'. I certainly never wanted my daughter
to think of me as 'Katrina'. However, years
after my storm has come and gone, I understand
what the old prophet meant by 'the Lord has
His way in the whirlwind and the storm'. I'm
thankful for the rain, and for the transformation
and new beginnings it can bring.
Elaine Olson, Ph.D., is a professional
counsellor, teacher and author. She has a
private counselling practise in Ontario and
has actively supported many social and women's
initiatives for the past 20 years. She is
married and a mother of three teenage daughters.