There has been a lot of rain where I live, and a great deal of flooding, too. I am grateful to God that I and my family have been spared from the effects of the floods, and I am praying that those impacted by this onslaught of water will find comfort, safety, and shelter during this difficult time.

Recently, I was running an errand and noticed a puddle off to the side of the road. This was during a time when the rain was light, and the worst of the flooding had not yet begun. I was stopped at a red light, and took a moment to ponder the puddle.

I asked myself, “What is a puddle, really?” According to the dictionary, a puddle is nothing more than a small amount of water on the ground. I thought to myself, “Well, that wasn’t terribly insightful.”

However, what occurred to me is this: a puddle represents the ground’s inability to receive and adequately deal with the rain that the skies have imparted. Anytime you see a puddle, it generally means that the earth has not been able to keep up with all of the precipitation that the heavens have released. Put another way, the ground gets overwhelmed by its circumstances.

Then a thought occurred to me: where are the puddles in my life? Where is God clearly at work, but because I have my own issues – including unresolved pain from the past, fear for the future, and worry in the present – I am unable to fully receive the lesson (or gift) that God is trying to give me?

The thing about a puddle is that a generally lasts only for a little while. Eventually, the earth figures out what to do with the excess water – either absorbing it over time, or converting it to vapor. Either way, the puddle is dealt with, and after a few hours, you’ll find no evidence that it was ever there at all.

I wonder how many puddles there are in my life that God is trying to help me process – either by absorbing and processing some issue in my life, or just releasing it into the air? 

After all, the rain will come. And the inevitable consequence of rain will be puddles – and in some cases, even floods. However, I do have some say in how I respond to the rain in my life; I can look for opportunities to learn and grow from this particular trial, or I can remain stuck – with nowhere for the water to go.

The rain can also bring healing and cleansing. The very thing that seems so overwhelming to me may also be the mechanism that God has chosen to use for my own healing and deliverance! Imagine that.

Here is my prayer for today: Lord, thank You for this important lesson from something as simple as a puddle. Help me to remember that just as rain plays in important role in helping things to grow, I must understand pain is a natural (but never enjoyable) part of life that always has a purpose; in some cases, the pain may even be the very tool You are using to prepare me to receive an Ephesians 3:20-sized blessing from You. Help me to not get stuck in a “puddle mentality,” and remind me that I do have choices about how I choose to respond when the hard times come. In Your name I pray, Amen.

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