I am not sure if you have experienced this amazing thing that God has done for us!  This weekend the rain came and as many others I spent my Saturday inside most all day.  Now thankfully there were a few football games to occupy my time and some awesome rest for the family that we all needed.  As I walked in and out of the house a few times on Saturday I could not help but feel the weight of the clouds and rain that seemed to blanket the entire sky.

But then the evening came and the clouds began to break up a bit and the sun poked through right at the end of the day.  This scene of brilliant colors and hopeful sunsets seems to do something to me.  After a few glimpses of this beautiful site I quickly forgot the image and move on to the next order of business...another game and some good food with the family.

But then Sunday morning burst into my life!
Sunday morning I woke up and began to prepare for the day.  My usual routine somewhat disrupted by struggles in the house with poor sleep and little ears that seem to not hear instructions.  After a tough morning getting ready to ride to church, I sat in the truck driving with the kids in the car singing crazily and was abruptly reminded of the effects of the rain.

Some photographer friends of mine have shared that the best time to take pictures is after a heavy rain.  This was never more evident to me than Sunday morning as I drove to church thinking through all the stuff of the day.  The air was clear and just a bit cooler than normal.  The trees seemed a bit greener.  The sky a bit bluer than before.  A freshness in the air that was just a little better than the previous day.  Everything seemed to be a little clearer after the rain!

As I sit this morning to write I am thankful for the clear after the rain.  So many times in my life the rain has seemed more than I can handle.  The weight of the circumstances of life sometimes feel so heavy that nothing can ever lift the burden off my shoulders and I feel like I will go down.  But then the morning comes!    The morning brings a fresh new look at the day and clear air that seems to lift the burdens of daily life just a little to reveal something vital to the journey.  As I am able to peek out from under the burden of this life just a bit I am reminded of this incredible joy that flooded my soul in my days past.  I am reminded of this overwhelming joy that once captured my heart's affection and my minds attention.  I am reminded of this amazing Grace that is holding up the burdens of my life and actually carrying the weight of my struggles!  Yes, the Lord Jesus today is the one who is carrying my burdens. And every now and then I get a glimpse of the clear after the rain as the burden is lifted and my sight becomes clearer as my faith opens my eyes to truth.  Yes, He is right there with me in every step of this journey.  He is my Rock and my Redeemer!  He is the very life that is flowing through my body!  And it is He, the Lord Jesus who is with me in every step of this journey.

As the clouds clear and the rain stops and the blue sky bursts into sight...will you rejoice with me this day for the Lord reigns and will never ever change!  He is the Rock of our salvation and the Redeemer of our soul!  Jesus is the "I AM" that is ever holding our hands in every situation and in every struggle to help us press on toward the prize that has been set before us.  So, that together with the Saints we will receive one day what God has in store for us all at the table of feasting in HIM.  Oh what a glorious day that is coming when we shall see Him face to face and know that every step of the journey was worth every amount of struggle, pain and suffering!  He is worthy, the Lamb is worthy...Come let us rejoice together as He leads us homeward through this day.  The rain is gone and the sky is clear, soak up His glorious presence in your life and press on!

In His Grip!
JT