…if you want to see the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain. Dolly Parton

This bit of wisdom can be applied to many things. In life, in business, in your marriage, or in any other relationship if you want to see the beauty of it then you have to live through the tough times as well. This is something that seems to be missing in our culture and in the way that we, as a country, have learned to handle trouble. If you watch the news at all, you can see that we don’t handle trouble very well today. When there is an argument about anything, someone gets shot and sometimes killed because of the argument. Which was probably over nothing.

We have not learned, nor have most of us been taught, the power of faith and prayer and being submitted to God. In the last forty years or so church attendance has dropped quite a bit and with this “pandemic” many people have used it as the reason to just stop altogether. Why? I would think that during a time of trials we would need God even more. Some are choosing to stay home and “watch church”. Have you ever noticed how the entire family acts when this is done, especially today? Everyone has their phone out playing games or watching videos or texting. Nobody is actually paying any attention to the sermon on TV. They couldn’t answer one question about the sermon.

We, as a nation, have lost our most valuable resource and that is the time that we spend worshiping our Creator. Reading Bible verses is okay, but do you ask God to show you what they mean to your life? The beauty of a relationship with God is that He loves you more than anyone else and He wants to know you by what you talk to Him about and how you pattern your life after His Son. He already knows you in minute detail but He wants to hear you ask Him for the things that are dear to your heart. Not games or cars or a new phone every other year or so, but a real relationship with Him. Why? Because you are special to Him.

God created each of us to be like Jesus but He also gave each of us a mission that nobody else can do. Every father has a mission to raise their children to know Jesus by being an example of Him to them. They are to read the Bible and tell their children about what they find so interesting in God’s Word. We, as parents, have this responsibility given to us by God when we are called to be part of His family. We have a responsibility outside the home too. The people that we work with and the people that we meet should know that we are Christians without us telling them.

Jesus should shine out of our life in such a way that there is no mistaking that we belong to Him. Is this hard to do? For some it is, particularly at first. When you are a new Christian, you want to go around telling everyone about this wonderful Savior. But…your old friends just want you to come back and be like you were before. When you felt convicted of your sinful ways and you asked Jesus to come in and cleanse your life so you could follow Him, your heart was changed. You aren’t the same person that your friends knew. You are different. But you have to work as keeping this change fresh and alive. That is what Jesus meant when He said to “take up your cross and follow Me“.

We have to push the old thoughts and feelings away every day. Study God’s Word and wash your mind with the Living water of His Word so that your thoughts will become more like His. A chapter every day can do this, you don’t have to read a whole book in the Bible every day. But most new Christians are not even told that they should be doing this. They go down and accept Jesus, then get baptized and while they are standing there dripping wet and new in their faith…the church fails them. Most aren’t mentored into the Word, they are like a newborn child but everyone expects them to figure it out on their own. Would you do that to your baby? Think about what Dolly Parton said, “to see the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain”. Teach them, show them, help them to be more like Jesus one step at a time.

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