Let It Rain
Have You Ever Seen The Rain?
John Fogerty of Credence Clearwater Revival raised a profound question: “I want to know, have you ever seen the rain comin’ down on a sunny day?”
A couple old friends cover the timeless classic at a place called Beans, Books and Beliefs near the Rock River in Sterling, Illinois. Their voices harmonize to caress the words and make them come alive.
Beans, Books & Beliefs
The coffeehouse is a reclamation project. Not too many years ago the building was an empty shell that appeared ready for the wrecking ball. It was rescued by vision, prayer and lots of old-fashioned hard work. This manifestation of love and passion required the sweat-equity of thousands of hours of volunteer labor.
Now it exists for anyone who wanders in off the street. The aroma of freshly roasted coffee beans permeates the air and blends well with a freely offered sense of hope. An intentionally cultivated atmosphere makes it a safe hangout for those seeking connection and answers.
In the midst of friendly shadows, seeds are planted and nurtured in a manner that is entirely subservient to the incomprehensible workings of God. A vibrant cell of Christ-followers gathers at the coffeehouse and are known as The Bridge @ Beans.
Jesus of Nazareth’s parable of the sower is implanted in their DNA. Lessons about the supernatural involvement in restoration and growth are repeatedly remembered because lives are not reclaimed from brokenness instantaneously or merely because of human effort regardless of diligence and commitment.
Have You Ever Seen The Rain? Metaphorically speaking, rain on a sunny day speaks about troubles coming out of the blue to knock one down or off-track.
We dream big dreams, but dreams get repossessed or die all the time. Tragedy kills a dream; heartbreak repossesses a dream; gunslingers of negativity shoot down dreams with deadly accuracy; the stark reality of a business decision can put dreams on notice; paper shufflers bind a dream in reams of red-tape; lack of finances causes a dream to wither on the vine.
No one ever chooses tragedy or heartaches or dream-killing circumstances, but hard stuff strikes each of us. In my experience, disturbing hardships are the norm on planet earth; in a sin-racked world dreams are always under threat of being snuffed out.
Life never unfolds as we plan because sooner or later something we have no control over kicks us in the stomach and oft-times, while we are writhing in pain, it stomps on us. The death of a loved one; job loss; a doctor’s diagnosis; a family member drops a bombshell; a broken relationship; an accident.
Sometimes the rain that falls on a sunny day hits us like a cold and bitter freight train. The sky can be so pristine that its beauty is overwhelming, but then it happens; something out of nowhere hurls us off course or steals the dream.
Reality Of Faith
It is in the wreckage and its aftermath that our character gets an opportunity to develop and be tempered. How we sort through the debris is our choice and even when we are so hurt or disoriented that we cannot see it, there is always a new start and fresh beginning because no matter what, as long as we’re breathing, the sun will come out tomorrow.
Life is what it is, and to keep pressing on, we must embrace the otherworldly nature of faith. There is immense mystery in faith; no one this side of eternity ever fully perceives it. However, there is triumphant comfort woven into the mysterious reality of faith.
Jesus said: “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.”
Rain replenishes the soil, giving it the necessary nourishment. When the sun burns in the sky after a rain, dreams that have died become the seeds germinated by the wondrous mercy of the One who makes things grow. It is a remarkable and sometimes mystical thing to behold: God is always tangled up with humanity as the majesty of his grace continually reclaims and redeems.
Great Good News
Todd Agnew wrote some words that places the concept of rain on a sunny day into a whole new light: “Hallelujah, grace like rain falls down on me…”
All of a sudden Fogerty’s imagery is transformed and instead of being something to avoid, seeing rain on a sunny day becomes great good news. Have you ever seen the rain comin’ down on a sunny day? Hallelujah, grace like rain falls down on me!
Let it rain. Amen. And amen.
- Beans Books and Beliefs
Is a coffeehouse and music cafe next door to Maria's Pizza in Sterling, Illinois. It is a great place to make tight connections. If you drop in, ask Bruce and Ken to sing "The Boxer" just for me.
- Wanted Man
Wanted Man a.k.a. Ken R. Abell, seeks to be a blessing to others. He's a rake, a rambler, and a teller of tales who understands that there is strength in a story well told and well lived. To learn more, inquire or schedule him, visit this web site.
- Bricks and Faith
The late newsman David Brinkley was exactly correct when he said: "A successful person is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at him or her."
- Everybody Hurts
In the song Everybody Hurts by R.E.M., we are reminded of the fragile nature of the human experience. Michael Stipes plaintive vocals turns some stark lyrics into a haunting plea for compassion and understanding...
- What's Up With Grace?
Many years ago, Kris Kristofferson asked: "Why me, Lord? What have I ever done to deserve even one of the pleasures I've known?" Have you ever pondered those questions?
More by this Author
God has a mark for each of us to hit. This essay explores that from the context of Scripture. It offers much encouragement to be courageous and proceed forward in the process of discipleship.
Society is fragmented. We divide into tribal camps, and Christianity has proven it is not above the fray. This essay is a reality check for the church, asking the question: When will Christ-followers be obedient and...
Helen Keller overcame tremendous disabilities to live a life that was a daring adventure. This essay is an inspirational look at her life, and presents lessons we can learn and apply.