I love both sunny or rainy season. First, because, basically, we need both the sun and the rain to live, survive, and grow. Secondly, because we really don’t have the choice. Life gives us that. Metaphorically, there are “sunny” times in our life and there are “rainy” times too. Both times are seasons of growth for us. Oftentimes, it is the rainy season that tests our resilience, our fortitude, and our faith. It is the rainy days that would reveal what we are made of and where our confidence lies.
When I reflect on this metaphor, I remember the story of Jesus about the wise man who built his house on a rock and the foolish man who built his house on the sand (Matthew 7:24-28). The story tells of two persons, one wise and the other foolish. The wise person is the person who listens to God’s word and obeys them and is likened to a person who built his house on a rock that when the rain, floods, and winds beat his house, the house remained standing and strong. In contrast, the foolish man is the person who hears the word of God but refuses to obey and he is like a person who built his house on sand that the rain, floods, and winds easily blew it all away.
When rainy day comes and storm blows, do we easily crumble under its force? Do we fall and wash away with the flood? What holds our life? What is the foundation of our life? From the moment we stepped into school at that innocent age, we were groomed into thinking that we need to be “somebody” someday and that wealth, fame, and material prosperity equate to security, success, and stability in life. Even graver than this is when we are deceived into thinking that we can find fulfillment in them. But when the storm comes, we realize, none of these things truly matter. None of these things give us security. Success, in this sense, neither gives ultimate satisfaction in life nor provides a secure foundation that would ensure we remain standing after the floods of life. And none of these things can actually make us wise.
That particular passage from the Bible points us to what would keep us strong whether under the sun’s heat or under the stormy pour of the rain. Only when we abide in Jesus, can we have that security and strength in the middle of troubles. When we live in obedience to God, we are like the wise builder. We have a flood proof and storm proof house because God is our rock. Wealth and lofty achievements are sands. They do not offer the strength and refuge in life. They are there for us to live in pleasure as God designed for us to enjoy life, but they are not the very thing that would hold us secure when storm breaks loose.
“Everyone therefore who hears these words of mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man, who built his house on a rock. The rain came down, the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it didn’t fall, for it was founded on the rock.”– Matthew 7:24-25 (WEB)
“My soul rests in God alone. My salvation is from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress — I will never be greatly shaken.”– Psalm 62:1-2
When we rely on God and live in Him, He is like a fir tree for us. The fir tree or cypress tree is also called an evergreen. It is called as such because it remains “green” throughout the year no matter what the season is. Rain or shine it remains green. Spring, summer, fall, or winter, it retains its green foliage. It does not break off, wither, or die.
God called Israel to repentance in Hosea 14. They put their confidence in their idols (images molded and made by hand which they worshipped as their gods) and trusted Assyria as a powerful nation to save them. But God pointed out to them that not their idols or Assyria would be able to save them. God called on Israel to return to Him and obey Him. Even their sins grieved God and aroused His anger against them, He gave them words of comfort and hope.
It is important to realize that even when outwardly and in all appearances, persons or things in life seem to be wealthy, powerful, strong, and stable, they can never give the protection and security God can give us. God said to Israel,
“Ephraim, what have I to do any more with idols? I answer, and will take care of him. I am like a green fir tree; From me your fruit is found.”– Hosea 14:8 (WEB)
That verse was meant for Israel. But we can glean an important lesson or principle from it. When we obey God in full surrender and sincerity, He becomes like a fir tree to us. In whatever season, we are secure, protected, and strong. We do not wither in the heat of life or wash away in the storm of life, because we are under the shade of God. God takes care of us. He answers our needs. In Him, we bear fruits of righteousness. We bear fruits that keep us secure. We bear fruits that keep us peaceful. We bear fruits that make us wise.