The morning we left the Isle of Skye, we sloshed through the pouring rain to load our car. Now that we finally had our luggage, this actually took a tiny bit of time… The windshield wipers continued their work as we drove off the island. We did have a couple of brief reprieves from the rain on our drive to Edinburgh, just long enough for us to only get sprinkled upon as we visited a monument to William Wallace, and we actually had a couple rays of sunshine before the showers started back up as we visited the Falkirk Wheel, a rotating boat lift in central Scotland. All along, we truly had to marvel at the brilliant colours that lined our road. Never had we seen grass as green or flowers as brilliant, and this, despite the rain!
On our the first dizzily morning in Edinburgh, we began asking ourselves if it was only in Scotland that it rained this much. We decided to test the theory, and we drove south. We saw a number of things along the way, but our final destination was Hadrian’s Wall, the former defensive fortification of the Roman province of Britannia. It lies just south of the modern-day border between England and Scotland. Since construction on this famous wall began in AD122, it certainly was the oldest wall we had ever visited; and it seemed our theory about rain and Scotland was accurate, because as we arrived, the sun came out. Encouraged, we began to explore it. We had sense enough to take rain pants and rain jackets with us, just in case; but there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and we were sure we wouldn’t need them. It was a lovely hike that took us some 3-4 kilometres from the car, and we were just deciding if we should push on further when the sky suddenly clouded over and the rain began to fall. And it wasn’t just a pleasant sprinkle, either! We were soaked before we could get our rain gear on, and it only took a few minutes for that same rain gear to be so soaked that water passed through it as if it were made of cotton. Water drained down our pant legs into our boots, and the pleasant trail we had hiked just moments before became perilously slippery. We slipped and slid and tried to hurry, and eventually we finally made it back to the car. Just in time for the sun to return…
I supposed it could be said that a place must truly be beautiful indeed, when you continue to find beauty despite the rain… And yes, although the rain further “washed away” our already-ruined plans for this trip, neither my wife nor I could deny that Scotland, so green and fresh, is indeed, beautiful. The thought also occurred to us that perhaps it wouldn’t be so green and fresh it it weren’t for all the rain!
Is this why we are told to rejoice in our suffering? James, the brother of Jesus, puts it this way: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-3 NIV). That means that God sometimes uses our trials to form and shape us. And just like Scotland might not be nearly as beautiful if it weren’t for the rain, We, ourselves, might never reach that level of perfection in Christ that is ours, were it not for the troubles that come our way!
We would all do well to remember this important lesson we learned from that rainy trip to Scotland…
In His love,
P.S. Or was there yet another, even more vital lesson that God had for us in the rain? Join us on Monday for the final part of the devotional series, “Scotland!”
(To access the entire “Scotland!” devotional series, please click here.)