In the springtime, the fresh flowers that inevitably bloom can brighten our moods, but the rain…it does not have the same effect. It brings the cold with it, and it soaks our moods while it soaks the earth.
However, a good bed of flowers is only brought into, and held in this world if we have good rain (or a faithful gardener with a hose, if the times become desperate). In actuality, rain is not the only painful process involved in making a beautiful bloom. Earth must be torn up and tilled. The rotten remnants of last year’s spoiled vegetables must be spread on the newly made beds. Weeds must be hauled off to dry out in the baking sun over the coming weeks, and then the carefully chosen seeds or plants of the flowers we want to spend time enjoying have to be placed in the ground. Beauty doesn’t come easily.
Nature is good at teaching us lessons about life. True, those lessons can sometimes be retold in ways that become cliché. Yet, you don’t have to be thrown off by the retellings. Something profound really is happening as Earth and humankind strive hard to birth beautiful blossoms. The ripping of soil, the toil of hands, and yes, even the soaking of rain all serve a purpose: making something beautiful. And this pattern in nature serves as a lesson: pain can create beauty.
Hard times can make us stronger. It’s like how the rain falling down to the earth, clouding the world in cool despair, makes flowers grow.
Facing hard times and coping in the midst of painful experiences can grow you into a stronger person. Sometimes being humbled and falling flat on your face is what ends up growing you. Humility after all is one of the most beautiful human characteristics that exists, as those who have had to suffer being around many proud people can attest to.
There are so many other ways that facing something difficult in life can grow us and make us stronger and better people. It can, for example, teach us compassion. I won’t take time now to list all the possibilities. My hope is simply to give you a small reminder that whatever challenge you are facing right now is part of something bigger. Or at least, it can be if you are ready to let it be used to create beauty. You may not see the beauty now. You may not see it in five years, or even in 10 years. You may not even be the first one who sees it… It’s possible that someone else will notice a change in you, and you’ll only find out about it when they mention it to you.
It’s been difficult for me to submit to this beauty making process. However, it can reach down even into our roots, even into my roots, and make changes in me I would never wish away. And yes, saying those last words is hard sometimes, but they are still true, even though the pain has torn apart plenty of dreams. I believe I am a better person than I used to be, and a person who has more hope – not ultimately because I was ready to go on living and facing the pain in my life, but because my God showed me that rain does indeed make flowers grow. He is the one to whom I owe not only my understanding of this truth, but also my very life. When continuing troubles get me down, here are his words to me on the matter: “Suffering produces perseverance; perseverance produces character, and character produces hope. And hope doesn’t disappoint us.” (See ‘about’ section for more info on this hope.)