I don’t own an umbrella. I live in a desert, so why would I? We don’t get a ton of rain here, except maybe in the spring and fall, seasons that I’d otherwise enjoy. This whole thing is funny, because politicians and old women around here always complain about droughts. I don’t think they get it. The point though, is that I don’t like the rain. It’s annoying. It ruins car washes and camping trips, it’s the worst when it’s on my glasses, and is generally a nuisance.

But, if we look at the Biblical perspective on rain, it seems to be a good thing. Please take these out of context verses as examples:

…then I shall give you rains in their season, so that the land will yield its produce and the trees of the field will bear their fruit.

– Leviticus 26:4 NASB

Drip down, O heavens, from above,
And let the clouds pour down righteousness;
Let the earth open up and salvation bear fruit,
And righteousness spring up with it.
I, the Lord, have created it.

Isaiah 45:8 NASB

I will make them and the places around My hill a blessing. And I will cause showers to come down in their season; they will be showers of blessing.

Ezekiel 34:26 NASB

So, literally and figuratively, rain is a blessing. But, if I wanted to get wet, I’d take my clothes off. I’d get in the shower, or a pool somewhere. Modern technology has changed this traditional approach to an age-old phenomenon (to a point). We can live without rain- we have plumbing and irrigation (I realize that’s not entirely true, but how much do we realize this each day? Not much.)

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I moved this week. Whenever this happens, I realize that I have too much stuff. I’d like to call it something different. Americans judge their blessedness on their belongings. I’m blessed. I’ve personally paid for only one piece of furniture in my room right now. The rest of it was given to me by excessively generous people *cough, family, cough* But if I’m honest, sometimes, it’s an inconvenient blessing. You have to maintain things. Some stuff needs to be dusted. We have to store belongings that we have no use for, yet refuse to let go of. And somehow, so many of us seem to want more crap. If I ever wanted to curse someone, it’d be with stuff, and they would become a hoarder, like on that wretched show on television. They’d have paths through piles of collectible porcelain dolls, Nascar paraphernalia and other random things. They’d have to follow these trails from room to room in their homes. Maybe they’d rent out a storage unit (is that uniquely American?) and pile meaningless objects there, only to have the whole thing auctioned off when they die.

I’m semi-transient or a little nomadic- it’s a bachelor thing.  As a result of this lifestyle, I try to whittle my belongings down to a manageable load, because they make moving into more of a chore than it ought to be. I worry that settling down would surely be the death of me as my belongings piled up and as a tower of things finally collapsed on me and I slowly starved to death beneath them. I’m sure that Israel didn’t have a ton of crap weighing them down as they wandered the wilderness, but that wasn’t exactly a season of blessing, now was it?

Perhaps rain and household stuff aren’t the best examples (really, they aren’t), but how often have we received a blessing and only seen the burdens that accompanied it? Perspective has some fascinating effects, doesn’t it?

What are some of the blessings you have in your life that might also require some extra effort? (Yes, friends are a legitimate answer.)