The most interesting thing happened this morning: rain.

I know, that may not sound so interesting, but let me explain.

These past few days have been very heavy for me. Heavy. I don’t really know how to explain it except that it’s just heavy–heaviness in my soul. Heaviness in my heart. Heaviness, burden, lethargy, sadness, subtle gloominess. It’s almost like a low-grade depression.

I awoke this morning again feeling heavy. Lord, what is this?, I prayed. Then, off I went to make my morning hazelnut latte. As I sat down at the computer to journal, again I prayed, What is this heaviness? I don’t like it.

Quietly and gently, the Lord began to show me some of the internal thoughts I had just a few days ago, thoughts about my weight and my appearance. My wife and I have been training for a marathon, and I’ve enjoyed the morning runs–the increased energy and the weight loss. I started feeling pretty good about myself.

Then, as we got back from our vacation this past weekend, I saw a picture of myself in the river swimming. Up to that point, I thought this initial weight loss would have some outward appearance, but I still looked big, and it was very discouraging. Then, over the past couple of days, my knees have been bothering me, so I decided to slow down and not run as much, which again was a bit discouraging.

Lord, is it something I said or thought?

When you saw the pictures of yourself in the river, you were very discouraged at your weight. Even after running for so long, you are not happy with yourself.

He want on to explain to me that how I view myself is essential to the joy (or lack of joy) that I will experience. Joy is an attitude of the heart that we choose to receive or push away. Joy is not the result of circumstances–good or bad. It’s a choice. And, the moment I saw those pictures, I was hit with discouragement, the enemy of joy. Rather than fight it off, I chose to accept it. Nothing has changed. Here I am running and working hard, and for what? I still look the same.

So, I talked the Lord about it. I told him I was wrong for not fighting off those ungodly thoughts, for not choosing joy. I reminded myself that losing weight, training for a marathon, getting into shape takes time. It took time to get out of shape, and it’ll take time to get into shape.

After spending some wonderful time with my Father, the discouragement lifted. I feel lighter in my soul. Joy is coming back. Discouragement is leaving. It feels good!

So what does rain have to do with it? Here in Texas, it gets really hot in the summer. This week, we’re having 100+ degree days–dry, cloudless, hot, summer days. So, this morning as I’m praying through this issue with discouragement, it starts to rain. I heard trickling water outside but thought, That can’t be rain. The only forecast this week is hot, hot, hot.

Then, boom, the thunder rolls in–all this around the time that God is helping me deal with this heaviness. I peek outside, and sure enough, it’s raining. It’s raining when it shouldn’t be raining. Very odd. Very God.

Immediately, my mind goes to Isaiah 55:10-13,

“The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it. You will live in joy and peace. The mountains and hills will burst into song, and the trees of the field will clap their hands! Where once there were thorns, cypress trees will grow. Where briers grew, myrtles will sprout up. This miracle will bring great honor to the LORD’s name; it will be an everlasting sign of his power and love.”

God is sending his word, his promises. I will live in joy and in peace. What an amazing promise!

Thank you, Lord, for the rain!

Wow. It's Quiet Here...

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