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June

“Yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness” (Acts 14:17).

     Ah, June. I am always excited to see it come, though the month seems to arrive sooner and sooner every year I grow older. But, nonetheless, I still enjoy its arrival. For much of the northern hemisphere, it brings the first real signs of prolonged warmth, and daylight extends long into the evening. And unofficially, it marks the beginning of a long, extended summer of carefree living, vacations, trips to the beach or the mountains, with the gloomy days of winter a fading memory.

     Now, here in Florida, where we only have two seasons, rainy and dry, June is also a welcomed sight, as the daily regimen of afternoon showers revives “a dry and weary land where there is no water” (Psalm 63:1). As I’ve contemplated the arrival of June, several things come to my mind.

     First, do we recognize the goodness of God in every drop of rain that falls from the sky? Yes, we love to see the rain come, and our lawns are certainly thankful. But how often do we grumble and complain because the rain ruins this or that plan that we’ve made. We ought to be thankful for the weather, in the warm zephyr that blows in these days, the bright sunshine that revitalizes our weary souls, and the rain that truly is “satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.”

     Second, and this one is even harder to keep in mind, do we pause to hear in those claps of thunder or the torrents of rain the resounding testimony of a gracious and loving Creator who has ordered our world so that He could pronounce it “very good?” Now, we all love to see a rainbow after the rain, but we need always remember that a rainbow only exists because of the rain.

     And that makes me realize that the storms that so often come during this season aren’t the only storms that I face. All of us face the storms of life. For those who are without Christ, these can be so overwhelming that they only bring despair. But for the follower of Christ, we can joyfully sing, “When through the deep waters I call you to go, the rivers of sorrow shall not overflow; for I will be with you, your troubles to bless, and sanctify to you your deepest distress.” Troubles in this life bring blessings from our God, for they remind us that this world, as it is currently, is not our home. We await a new heavens and a new earth where sin and sorrow, distress and disease, and even death will be no more. And through the gracious hand of a loving Father, he blesses even through the troubles, for “behind a frowning providence, He hides a smiling face.”

     So, this June, let us rejoice in a good God, who has revealed Himself to us in all of creation. And then let us be reminded that this God is not watching from a distance, but has drawn near to us in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. In Him, we see the fullness of that great benediction. “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace” (Numbers 6:24-26).

     Let me close with a poem from Richard Aldington about June. I think those of us in Florida can certainly relate.

Hot, a griffin’s mouth of flame,
The sun rasped with his golden tongue
The city streets, till men and walls shriveled;
The dusty air stagnated.

At the third noon a wind rippled,
A wide sea silently breaking;
A thick veil of rain-drops
Hid the sun and the hard blue.

A grey garment of rain,
Cold as hoar frost in April,
Enwrapped us.