It happened to be a dry and sunny day when I was penning this article. Living in Manchester, we all understand that a dry day is rare. Statistics tell us that there are, on average, over 200 wet days in a year here. Even when it isn’t raining, it is not necessarily sunny. So rainy and cloudy days are the norm in Manchester.
I don’t know if you like rainy, wet and gloomy weather. People tend to prefer a smooth, comfortable, problem-free life. Rainy days make us feel damp and uncomfortable, and our homes and clothes easily become dirty, creating extra cleaning chores.
Last month, we, the pastoral and office staff, had an opportunity for an outing. The weather forecast predicted rain, but it might also have been dry when we were outdoor. Prior to the event, a member of staff did ask if we were going ahead as planned. I thought, it rains so often in Manchester, it would be difficult to pick another day that was definitely going to be dry. We therefore decided to go ahead. Just before we met, it was absolutely pouring down. However, we were so grateful that, during our activity, it only drizzled slightly and all of us felt excited as we enjoyed the beautiful view of the way towards the country park.
During the outing, we had a period of quiet time. We walked in silence. In this moment, I gave thanks for living in England and having the opportunity to enjoy this weather, gloomy and often rainy. My wife and I had our honeymoon in the UK during the rainy Autumnal season. We enjoyed our time in a B&B, reading quietly and gazing at the rain outside the window, it was rather poetic.
Do rainy days always make people sad? Do bright days always make people feel excited? I grew up in a housing estate, my parents neither took us to play in the park nor allowed us to go out to play with other children. Even on a sunny day, we could only watch and enviously admire other children playing happily outside. Sunny days make me feel even more lonely.
Someone may ask: ‘Life is so unpredictable; how can we give thanks for everything?’ It depends on how you view things that have happened in your life and the things you have. We are all familiar with the metaphor of the glass half full. But for some reason, when adversity or unsatisfactory things happen, we only focus on the empty half of the glass, as if the half-full glass of water is not worth mentioning. Paul says, “I know what it is to be in need, and I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” (Philippians 4:12) Paul, in any and every situation, was content and joyous. It is precisely because he mastered the essence of Christian life, which is that we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength. (Philippians 4:13) No matter whether it is sunny or cloudy, we can be grateful for our relationship with the Lord. Whether during easy or difficult times in life, all are lessons given to us by the Lord, in order to nurture us to continue to grow in the experience of relying on Him.