There is a transition that occurs in those who move to Arizona. Prior to living here, they may have been in Washington, or Minnesota, or California. And in the normal way of thinking of the weather, they thought of the clear sunny days as the beautiful days. This was the weather they loved and appreciated.
This thought will change after they have lived in Arizona long enough. It might take a year, it might take a few yers. Eventually the transition occurs and the person becomes a true Arizonan when they begin to see beauty in the rainstorms. Rainy days are treasured by true Arizonans. They see wonder in the dark gathering of clouds. They rejoice in the sound of thunder. They celebrate in the formation of puddles.
Rain in Arizona is no less troublesome than it is in other parts of the country. In fact, it can be much more so. The desert soils are unaccustomed to water. Less of it sinks in and more of it runs off, in what quickly becomes dangerous torrents. While driving at night, one can come across a small stretch of water on the road that appears to be a harmless puddle, but which might have enough current to carry you and your car off the road. These floods can create amazing amounts of erosion, which in turn will redesign the landscape. It can undermine roads, destabilize the foundation of buildings and reroute washes by the accumulation of displaced soil. This last point makes the next location to be flooded unpredictable.
So if the monsoon rains are dangerous, why do Arizonans appreciate them? The answer is not as simple as you first might think. It is true and perhaps most obvious that after 9 months of straight sunshine, often in high temperatures, that rain is a welcome change of pace. But what might be less obvious is the way the repetitive days of sunshine give you a greater appreciation of our dependence upon water. Water is basic to who we are, and that water comes to us from the sky, even if it is in tumultuous moments of storminess.
Where once, all we saw was the chaos and danger of the storm, here in Arizona we begin to recognize the necessity of the rain that comes with it. Perhaps even notice some elegance to the delivery method. We know we will not be able to survive without the water brought by the storm, so there is something immature about being unhappy with the storm.
It is not a lesson we learn quickly. It does not change the reality that the storm will harm us if we disrespect it. Still, we become deeply invested in the coming of the storm. Our hearts anticipate those moments. We depend on those drops of life-giving water. We depend on those breaks from the normal patterns of sunshine.
Switch from Arizonans to Christians. Switch from rain storms to storms of life. Switch from rain damage and storm dangers to health and success issues. Switch from life giving water to the water of life, or the gospel brought by Jesus Christ. Thunder is God’s Word, both in Scripture and in how He sometimes work in the life of an individual to shape their hearts. Days of sunshine are days of comfort and ease, but the storms are the days that make us more than we currently are. Christians eventually learn to embrace the transformational power of these storms.
But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.
Romans 8:37 (NASB)