Good Things When It Rains
There are words we do not speak. The ones that haunt us in our dreams. The ones we hope we do not utter in our sleep. We have had a number of very personal posts on this site in the last couple months. We even had one pulled after a brief stint. This is in that vein but less involved.
I don't struggle with depression. I have regular anxiety concerns. They are occasionally cosmic on Fridays. I monitor my coffee intake during the 7-10 days when my stress and anxiety get out of control. I listen to slower paced music until my emotions swing down. Then I listen to awful pop music to revive my spirits. These days are typically associated with insomnia and extremely vivid dreams. It is not uncommon for me to wake up exhausted.
Topics such as this are uncomfortable subjects for the church. No one wants to be flawed. At least not in public. Yet, honesty reigns supreme and should seem ideal. In many ways, I am a traditional introvert. However, I am not a quiet person because I am emotionally reserved. Often I feel like I'm on a teetering edge. I've struggled with anxiety for most of my life. It haunted me throughout college. I only now can look back and realize it made friendships and casual relationships a struggle. Lately, I have found myself having temper issues during these anxious moments. Putting children to bed in these moments feels like fighting an external and internal war at the same time.
Yet, perhaps this is why I love my kids so much. They talk back but not in a complicated way. Being around people definitely heightens my anxiety. My children are natural diffusers. Wrestling with them is a wonderful relationship building exercise that steadies my anxiety. Taking a solid punch, knee or pillow to the face is refreshing. Holding my children is like a chemical injection to my brain.
Growing up I would say good things happen when it rains. I know now that is untrue. Sometimes there are bad times in our lives. Sometimes there are really bad times in our lives. Sometimes they last for a long time.
As a proof, my favorite Scripture has gravitated to a rather innocuous little text. It certainly belongs among the pillars of "misapplied Scriptural/Paulian passages" yet this one seems to be correctly applicable — "hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us" (Rom 5:5).
There is no clear explanation here of how tribulations will produce hope. There are no assurances things will get better. There is no promise of "good things when it rains." There is merely hope that will never disappoint. I might die having not seen the fulfillment of the promise (Heb 11:13). But I can know it will not disappoint. Our hope is in a resurrection where every tear is wiped from every eye.