Be still sad heart and cease repining,
Behind the clouds the sun is shining,
Thy fate is the common fate of all;
Into each life some rain must fall, —
Some days must be dark and dreary.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

If you let the clouds rule your life, you will never live to enjoy the sun!

For 13 years I lived in Western Washington, just South of Seattle, where I was confronted daily with the rain and clouds. After all those years, I am still amazed at how depressing it was to watch the news. Some people never seem to get their fill of whining and complaining. Even in the summer, when the sun was shining, the weather man always found the cloud in the silver lining. In the winter they would say, “32 days of rain and counting… when will we see the sun again?”  In the summer on the first sunny day—I mean the very first day—he would say, “when can we expect to get a break from this heat?”  No wonder people get depressed in Seattle.

The Seattle weather is a good metaphor for poverty and the need for good works. God has created for us endless opportunities to serve and love one another, but we accomplish so little because we only see the impossibility of the present or the failure of the past. Confucius said, “Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fall.” I think he is right on target. The opportunities God has for you often look impossible, and even once we set out to serve, we are frequently hit with failure and heartache. But what brings glory to God, is not that we live without failure, but that we trust Him enough to get up and keep moving forward.

Impossible Opportunities are coming your way; opportunities hidden by foreboding clouds and chilling rains. You will slip. You will fall. You will fail. Will you get up? Will you move forward with hope that behind the dark clouds shines the Son of God!

Dr. J.R. Miller is a Professor of Applied Theology and Leadership & Dean of Online Learning at Southern California Seminary. Outside work, he is a church planter. Dr. Miller has a diverse educational background and authored multiple books on church history, biblical theology, and Leadership. Joe and his wife Suzanne enjoy the sun and surf with their 3 sons in San Diego, CA.

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