Let me first say, I live in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, which translates to – it rains a lot here. I am not a cold weather person, I love sunny days, walking around in my shorts and sandals, sunglasses on and feeling the warmth of the sun.
This last summer was great, even though we were away from people because of COVID-19, I was able to spend the warm days with my family. I was able take my granddaughters out and ride bikes and scooters. We took walks and sat outside on our back porch. My wife and I also went camping and fishing. We enjoyed time outside and in nature.
I had a garden with fuchsias, lavender, roses, geraniums and herbs. It was great to sit out and play my bass while the warm wind rustled the flowers. We even had two birds that made nests in our fuchsias.
Now I could be upset about not having good weather: it’s cold and rainy. I wish I could sit out in the sun and just relax in my backyard. However, flowers, grass and trees need to be watered. I understand that the rain is necessary. It keeps the state green and fresh.
So I stand at my sliding glass door, tea in hand and watch as God waters my backyard.
Life is like that as well, some days are good days, there are no problems, and we bask in the sun of our prosperity. We enjoy notoriety and success. However, only the desert has sun all the time. To get the rich, lush growth of trees and beauty around us, sometimes we need to endure some rain.
About seven years ago, I had a great opportunity to work for the State of Oregon, this was the second interview for the job and I had a great feeling. I was an entry advisor working at a call center for Apple, and I was looking for a move. It was Saturday, and I had Sunday and Monday off. The interview was scheduled for Monday morning, and I was very vocal about my chances of nailing it.
About ten minutes before I was to get off, I was approached by a supervisor for the Senior Advisors. He spoke to me at length, and he said they were interested in making me a Senior Advisor. I told him I was not really interested, and I left for the day.
I called my wife, and she suggested I take the promotion and turn down the interview with the State. Under extreme discomposure I went back in and accepted the promotion, and the next Monday I started class.
On that Wednesday – a cold February Morning on the 6th: I was biking to work. I had made it about a half mile from my house, when a car ran a stop sign, and hit me. I was thrown sixty feet, and I landed on my head (which broke my helmet – always wear a helmet – kids).
After the initial impact, I was laying there in the middle of the street on my back, rain was pelting my face, I could not feel my hands or my feet and I could not move or get up. I thought I was paralyzed. The ambulance ride delivered me to the hospital, and I went through an MRI. Sensation eventually came back to my extremities, and I was sore all over. The only bone I broke was my baby toe on my left foot.
Then the doctor came in and told me he found a mass on my brain.
I will admit, my heart dropped. I was dismayed because I didn’t know what I did to deserve this. My brother died of a brain tumor, and I thought I was next.
I went to the neurologist, and found out it was only a Pituitary Adenoma, which is bad, but not like my brother who had an inoperable brain tumor.
The tumor was the size of a ping pong ball when they discovered it; because it was on my pituitary gland it was messing with my hormones. They also said that if it was not removed, and if it became larger, it would collapse my optic nerve and I would be blind.
When they removed the tumor, it had grown to be just a little bigger than a golf ball, and it was pressing on the inside of my brain – which caused some hallucinations. But after six weeks in the hospital and twelve weeks at home that it took for recovery, I am much better.
If I would have taken the interview at the state, I would not have been riding my bike to my job that I had currently, I would not have been hit by the car, the tumor might not have been discovered: I would have lost my sight, my hormones would not have equalized, and it might have been the end of my life.
I have to be grateful for the bike accident, and for the doctors who found the tumor. I realized – after the shock of hearing I had a tumor – that this was not a punishment from God. Sometimes he allows situations to uncover other problems that need to be discovered, and since I am resistant to going to the doctor, he had to create a situation so that discovery could be made. The rain was pouring that day, but it created a beautiful garden.
You might not have an extreme story like this, but difficult days will come; It might happen that you’re not getting noticed like you were before, and things might not come as easy as they did in times past; you might think you have the antithesis to King Midis’ touch, and everything you touch turns to crap.
There are seasons when nothing goes right, and at the end of the day we feel we have been run over by a truck, pushed down a hill in a barrel and kicked in the teeth.
But nothing is as bad as it seems, it’s just a rain storm; Look around at the garden in your life, because it is being watered.