One of my fave quotes (and I???ve heard many) has been passed around for a long time. It goes ???Things grow in the valley???.
We may wish to live on the mountaintops and only experience the rush of pleasure, light and joy but this is rarely where we grow most.
I???m not big on thinking a person???s name hard wires a character strength or weakness to them, not at all.??I am attracted to blues and laments, that I???ve experienced enough struggle in my life to often sense what people may feel and put it to music and lyrics.
So I find it mildly interesting that my names (first, middle and last) seem to fit me pretty well.
Glenn is Gaelic for ???valley???, Harold indicates ???army ruler or commander??? and Kaiser is of course the German for ???leader???.
If taken literally, I???m one of those you might follow through the valley to get through on the other side!
Whatever that (and I) am worth, I???m just a guy who stumbles, blunders, both sins and makes mistakes like anyone else!
In any case, the Air and Water Show had a shortened day today, though it???s one of Chicago???s largest free events each summer.
A massive passing thunderstorm with a lot of rain passed through early and kept the planes and flight exhibitions on the ground most of the day. In the end, the sun came out and at least a few of them flew over the lakefront crowd whose spirits were somewhat (literally) dampened.
I had a huge load of garbage to take out and stepped between the puddles to get to the dumpster, noticing that the sun was shining after all.
I often mention our amazing garden at JPUSA and after doing the rubbish had to take a short detour through it.
It had been a truly hard rain, but now with the sun brightly shining the flowers and other greenery is just a lush and gorgeous as could be!
It???s often like that in life- we get drenched and then out comes the light and glory on the other side.
Scripture says we???re being ???changed from glory to glory???… but it doesn???t always feel like it ???eh?!
Countless times in my life I???ve prayed ???Mercy! You don???t HAVE to help me but I???m toast if you don???t Lord!??? He???s already told us ???Without me you can do nothing??? and nothing of value comes of simply doing whatever it is we feel like because that is mostly comfortable and for our personal sense of joy and satisfaction.
I???m not saying that our own satisfaction is always disconnected from God???s will, not at all… but rarely do we recognize that things ???grow in the valley???. Avoiding such storms doesn???t in the end promote growth.
The glory of God is that we can make it through to the light- if we???ll trust and walk with Him.
I remember a hunting trip where in the middle of about 2,500 acres I was moving through what was mostly an open field between two large tracts of forest.
A powerful but short-lived rainstorm was obviously forming in the west and it was clear I wouldn???t make it across the field before it hit, perhaps with lightning and very likely a hard rain.
I quickly put on a camo rain poncho I???d remembered to pack, put my backpack and gun -under- the poncho and hunched myself into to a small clump of four foot high bushes there in the middle of the field.
Another hunting buddy had just come out of another section of woods and was crossing the field at that very moment and we both met and waited out what proved to be quite a rocking storm and light show for about fifteen minutes!
The rest of the day was cool, the walking/stalking quiet and successful for both of us… but we had to wait out the storm because there was no getting around it.
Sometimes we do all we can to escape, or we try to ignore these difficulties. We may get angry or blame God or someone else for our ???hard rain??? experiences. But most of the time if we???re honest, we???ve learned, grown and benefited from the cloudbursts.
That???s been my experience. It was like that today too.
Thanks for stopping by and have a great week!