Forward Today: Of sunshine and rain

Dear friends in Christ,

As I write this, I’m sitting in the back yard under the shade of an umbrella on a sunny day. The birds are singing. Bees are buzzing about. Our dog is surveying his realm. It’s one of those glorious days that makes me grateful to be alive.

The heavens are telling the glory of God, the psalmist writes. And so too do the bees, the flowers, the grass, the birds, and the whole of creation. But it’s not just on sunny days.

Some years ago, I was in Jerusalem for the first time. I’ve told the story before: I was excited to be in this most holy place. My little group drove around the city getting an orientation tour. Instead of the sunshine I expected, it was a gray, rainy day. The windows on the bus kept fogging up. My view of the city was spoiled, I thought.

We stopped to get out of the bus at a scenic overlook. In the drizzle. I was grumpy. Then I saw the faces of the local people. They were all abeam in sheer joy. “Isn’t it wonderful,” one of them asked me, “that we’re getting this beautiful rain today?”

Of course! In a very dry climate, rain is seen as a blessing. I suddenly felt very humbled. And I realized afresh that God’s glory is revealed not just in sunshine and in things that happen to please me personally. God’s glory is revealed in the whole of creation – sun and rain, warm and cool, forest and desert. And God’s glory is revealed in the joy of God’s people.

The photo here is from that same trip to the Holy Land. I took this photo in the Golan Heights, near Mount Hermon. My time in the Holy Land helped me understand Psalm 133 in a new way:

How very good and pleasant it is
when kindred live together in unity!
It is like the precious oil on the head,
running down upon the beard,
on the beard of Aaron,
running down over the collar of his robes.
It is like the dew of Hermon,
which falls on the mountains of Zion.
For there the Lord ordained his blessing,
life forevermore.

Let us all give thanks to God for dew and wind, for sun and rain, for joy and sorrow, for noise and silence. Blessed be our God, who gives us every blessing.

Yours faithfully,

Scott Gunn's signature

Scott Gunn
Executive Director

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