For the last three years South Africa experienced the driest period on record. With barely a drop of rain, death was everywhere. Crops were dying. Livestock was dying, and the country’s rivers and dams were dry. People suffered terribly as water and food became scarce and expensive. The nation was a sorry-looking brown dust bowl. Until it started raining.

As the skies opened, a deluge of water was dumped over much of the country in flash floods that wreaked havoc across the major cities. As residents struggle to come to terms with these two extremes of drought and flood, there is some cause for celebration. Although it’ll probably take a number of years to recover fully from the drought, above average rainfall has been forecast for the country between now and February.

And, we can revel in new life across the nation. Not only are we able to delight in the sweet sound of new-born lambs and calves, but one immediate sign of new life is in the grass. After the rain, the lush green that seems to have lain dormant for three years has now pushed its way up through the cracked, dry ground and is on glorious display across the country. It’s astonishing to see the difference just one day of rain can make to dry, dusty brown ground. That same bland landscape is now awash with brilliant colours and teeming with life.

Look to the skies

When I see these stark contrasts I’m filled with hope. It doesn’t take much for us to become disillusioned as we consider some of the grave injustices around us. Our view of life can appear grey and bland, but all it takes is a bit of rain to reveal the beauty of what lies beneath the dreary dullness.

The ‘rain’ of life – I think – is hope. It’s those startling moments that make you really grateful and in an instant enable you to catch a glimpse of colour in your life. It’s those surprising times when you hear or see something you weren’t expecting and the wonder of life instantly comes into focus – sharp and clear.

We do experience times of drought in life, but one thing we can be sure of is that seasons change and the rain will come. Look out for it. It may be a drenching flash flood, a gentle drizzle or a soaking shower but either way, expect the rain to come and when it does, revel in the vibrant colour that’s been brewing beneath the surface of all that is you – your true character.

Humans have no way of knowing the future but God knows and although you may not understand what’s going on in your life right now, if you love God, know that He is working everything together for your ultimate good. You can trust Him.

Look out for the rain! I hope you have some today.

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