Once there was a little tree, and it was happy. Until one day it started to rain, and it became cold and wet and began to wonder "Why do I have to be cold and wet when there are so many other trees that are warm and dry? Why are there so many other trees that can sit and bathe in the sun all day long and never have to fret with the rain? And mostly, why is where I have been planted out of my control?"
After the tree sat there for a while cold and wet, and perhaps a little glum, it realized that there was something in the distance. There was a HUGE tree, much larger and wiser than the little tree who began sharing with him some important lessons he has learned in his life.
"Little Tree, because of this rain, you will grow big and strong and beautifully luscious. You will be more able to help others through the beauty you can bring into their lives. Little tree, 'Come what may and love it.' There is such wonder and joy in opportunities that stretch our capabilities and that test our understanding. Whenever there is rain there is also inevitably mud; it shows that God's hand has been at work. Learn to love the rain, Little Tree."
And so, the Little Tree began to look beyond himself, and even though he had to look closely, he found beautiful things that the rain had created! The Big Tree continued to share some insights from other wise trees he had listened to in the past:
"'Who is it that whispers so subtly in our ear that a gift given to another somehow diminishes the blessings we have received? Who makes us feel that if God is smiling on another, then He surely must somehow be frowning on us? You and I both know who does this—it is the father of all lies. It is Lucifer.' Don't let him trick you, Little Tree!"
"'Each of us will have our own Fridays, those days when the universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our world lie littered about us in pieces. We all will experience those broken times when it seems we can never be put together again. We will all have our Fridays. But I testify to you in the name of the One who conquered death—Sunday will come. In the darkness of our sorrow, Sunday will come. No matter our desperation, no matter our grief, Sunday will come. In this life or the next, Sunday will come.' And until the rain stops, as it always does, Little Tree..."
"...continue to look for the beauty in the world around you! 'Claim [your] exceedingly great and precious promises and never let go!' Learn to laugh, seek for the eternal, and remember that 'every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude.' God has not forgotten you, Little Tree. He has not misplaced the sunshine he has set aside for you, nor has He given it to another tree. He is in control of where you were planted, but you are in control of how strong you grow. Grow strong, Little Tree."
"Embrace hope, Little Tree. For 'hope...is like the beam of sunlight rising up and above the horizon of our present circumstances. It pierces the darkness with a brilliant dawn. It encourages and inspires us to place our trust in the loving care of an eternal Heavenly Father, who has prepared a way for those who seek for eternal truth in a world of relativism, confusion, and of fear.' Even though your trials may not disappear immediately, we can live a quality life now, for that is 'God's greatest wish for us. Life is to be lived well in whatever circumstances we find ourselves.' Live well, Little Tree."
The Little Tree thought about what the Big Tree had said. And then, because the Little Tree was planted in Colorado, it began to snow.
But instead of getting discouraged, the Little Tree looked around and saw another tree going through the same wet and cold as him, and decided to try to make a new friend, because he "realized as never before that good friends and faithful family members make challenges less difficult."
So, the Little Tree learned many important lessons that rainy/snowy day. Lessons that will bless his life for years to come. And, lessons that he'll be able to share with others to lift their spirits on their rainy days.
The author of this parable makes no claim that she has no bias towards rain because she grew up in Oregon. The following talks were not harmed in the making of this parable (in order of appearance): Come What May, And Love It, The Other Prodigal, Sunday Will Come, Claim the Exceeding Great and Precious Promises, The Infinite Power of Hope, Be a Quality Person, and Adversity and You. (Whew!)
I love the literal rain, and I'm working on the figurative little drops.