rainy_daysNo one in his right mind wants to suffer. Sometimes suffering comes quickly: the stroke that robs your mom of her dignity; the heart attack that takes your dad’s life. Other times suffering comes slowly: the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s; the slow, painful divorce.

Suffering is unavoidable. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said it this way:

The Rainy Day

The day is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the mouldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
And the day is dark and dreary.

My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
My thoughts still cling to the mouldering Past,
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast,
And the days are dark and dreary.

Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.

Peter, writing to suffering saints in the first century, put it this way:

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. (1 Peter 5:10 ESV)

Peter agreed with Longfellow: suffering is inevitable. Into each life some rain must fall. Suffering is the common plot of every human being. Life languishes. Problems persist. Grief grips. The difference between Peter’s words and Longfellow’s dirge is this: Longfellow depends on the sun shining behind the clouds. Peter points to the God who shines through the clouds. He is the God of all grace who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ.

Your suffering is not wasted. God himself shapes you through suffering. When suffering has reared its ugly head and left you mangled and marred by the pain of life, God himself shows up and restores, confirms, strengthens and establishes you. Take heart. God has not forgotten you. He sees you, not as you are, but as you will be.


  1. I can totally relate to this post. My family has seen it’s fair share of rain; deaths


  2. Beautiful thought and reminder of God’s grace and his willingness not only to shape us through our suffering, but also to hold our hand through it.


  3. Wow! What a beautiful poem!! Poetry appeals to our higher self and opens a great vista that we can see, not only with our intellect, but also with our heart.

    Thanks for sharing Pastor Jerry!


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