Let It Rain

Bruce Johnson & Ken Von Holten @ Beans, Books & Beliefs
Bruce Johnson & Ken Von Holten @ Beans, Books & Beliefs

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.

Hard Stuff

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.

The fact that the sun comes out for every tomorrow means there are always new days & fresh beginnings.
The fact that the sun comes out for every tomorrow means there are always new days & fresh beginnings.

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.

My good friends, Bruce Johnson & Ken Von Holten.
My good friends, Bruce Johnson & Ken Von Holten.

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Comments 8 comments

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weepingfool 7 years ago

As long as I remember, rain's been comin' down.

Rainy days can definitely cause the blues.

But like you say, rain is a source of nourishment.

Rain's always been an interesting metaphor.

God causes the rain to fall on the just and the unjust alike -- is that a promise or a threat?

When the rain comes, they run and hide their heads...

Todd Agnew's words bring to mind Andy Dufresne standing in the rain after escaping Shawshank. Grace like rain pouring down on him, washing him clean.

Rain... I don't mind.

Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

weeping fool - Thanks for the good comments.

"God causes the rain to fall on the just and the unjust alike -- is that a promise or a threat?"

I think it is neither - it's just the way it is or as Trudeau once famously said: "It's just the universe unfolding as it should."

habee profile image

habee 7 years ago from Georgia

Good hub and great memories of the old Creedence song, which was one of the first ones I learned to play on my guitar. Gives it a whole new meaning for me!

Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Thanks, habee. Glad to have stirred up great memories. And you're right, Grace Like Rain gives the CCR song a whole new meaning.

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starbug5052 7 years ago

"WOW"; good hub, very touch and inspiring.Very touching movie. I really enjoyed it. Thanks

Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

starbug5052 - Thanks for stopping by & sharing. Peace & blessings to you.

suziecat7 profile image

suziecat7 6 years ago from Asheville, NC

Great Hub - I like the way you depict rain as a positive thing. Despite the bad times there's always hope.

Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

suziecat7 - Thanks for sharing. As long as we're breathing, there's always hope. Blessings.

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