It’s a soaking rain. Soft, yet deeply penetrating. The garden drinks it in deep preparing for growth. I wait. The garden’s abundance will prove the necessity of this waiting time, this time when growth seems stagnant.
I’m unable to watch roots drink. The earth covers the work happening below. I am left with no proof of progress; nothing to touch, nothing to see, roots removed from view and cloaked in darkness. I acknowledge my seeing or not seeing, my understanding or not understanding, my knowing or not knowing does not alter growth’s process. And I listen to the rhythmic falling of rain.
Growth is happening in my garden, happening all around, happening within – even when I don’t see. But doubt rushes in when growth is hidden and my heart yearns for the sun, and leaves, and blossoms. I do not need faith to believe what I can see. Faith is the evidence of what I cannot see, the antidote to doubt. It’s the salve for times when growth is quiet and hidden, when rain penetrates deep.
Is there ever a time when we are not entwined in the growth process? Is there ever a time wasted? Is there ever a time the sun is more important than the rain, the light more than dark? Even the end of a thing serves as the beginning of the next. “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven.” Eccles. 3:1
But times of feeling stagnant and stuck are real and hard. They are heavy and depleting. And we long for the sun, even though good is happening in the rain. Even though growth is taking place undetected. Even though the still births life.
Some truth is embraced slowly; it’s a chalky pill that brings healing but hard to swallow. The quiet, hidden side of growth is this type of truth. We close our eyes hoping to remove the need of it, yet remain unable to redirect growths course.
Growth, change, transformation, either we accept or resist. Like Jonah we run until tight places restrict our flailing arms, our running legs, our excuse filled minds. In the dark, our focus goes deep, seeks more of God, roots extend and we gain strength, gain direction.
Maybe we need to invest time in comprehending the unseen side to transformation and less time creating noise, pretending it does not exist. Maybe we need to start counting, counting it all, the rain and sun, the light and dark, joy. It’s all joy if it creates transformation, makes us more like Him. Joy floods when we realize we’re becoming Christ-like.
The clouds gather heavy. The rain chooses a faster tempo; now a pelting rain and I listen. I listen to my heart and sense the movement of roots and I start counting, counting every weighty drop, and naming them joy. It’s all joy, every beautiful moment and every difficult moment, all of it joy.
And as rain slows, my heart feels held, so I keep counting.