Andy Denen

Ideas on life, church, and culture.

It Rains Sometimes

When I was kid I was terrified of thunderstorms. I hated the wind and thunder. The lighting and rain never really bothered me, but the wind would howl and I was sure a tornado was right around the corner. And the thunder. Oh my goodness, the THUNDER. It felt like it was a hammer banging against my chest, it was scary.

Nowadays, I rather enjoy thunderstorms, I even find them to be therapeutic in some cases. The thunder doesn’t bother me nearly as much as it used to. The wind can still make my heart race a little, but I’m confident in the event of an emergency I will be able to get my family to safety.

Even now, as an adult, I like to walk through the rain because it feels so dramatic. I imagine a growing movie score swelling in the background as some epic narration voice depicts the wonder that is my story. I’m usually just taking out the trash with my shoulders hunched up like somehow that is going to keep me from getting wet, but man, in my head, I’m a hero braving the storm.

One thing is certain, we cannot avoid the rain. It will rain at some point or another. Gray clouds will form overhead and a downpour will fall on our heads and we will feel miserable and confused. Of course now I don’t mean literal rain. But the rain of a bad day or a tragic situation. Yesterday, a young woman I know, 30 years old, passed away after losing her battle to cancer. Today, a friend of my wife had to take her toddler son to the ER for what they have determined are seizures. Rain comes down sometimes.

It’s unexplainable and impossible to understand, but it happens sometimes. Today, for no reason I felt a swell of anxiety grow in my stomach, my heart started racing and my breathing came in shorter puffs than normal. I felt shaky and frustrated. Nothing led to it. I just felt overwhelmed. Sometimes it rains.

In 2 Samuel chapter 9, there is a little known story tucked away about King David that I love. It’s about David and his best friend Jonathan’s son Mephibosheth. Strange name right? Years before this story takes place, long before David was King, he made a promise to Jonathan that he would honor his family. In 2 Samuel 9 David, as King, wants to make good on the promise. So he asks if there is anyone in the line of Jonathan alive so he can honor them with God’s kindness.

“Mephibosheth,” Someone says. So they summon him to come to the King’s presence. Now Mephibosheth is lame in both feet. A fact I find to be so important in this story. Because there are some days where I feel exactly like Mephibosheth. Lame. Staggering around trying to find footing and gain some momentum. Now, this is not some pity-party-for-Andy-post. That’s not the point at all. It’s just the truth. I want to feel like King David, strong and courageous, a man after God’s own heart. And there are days where I definitely feel that confident. But some days, I just simply feel like Mephibosheth, a staggering man. Sometimes it rains.

But David calls Mephibosheth up to the King’s table and gives him a seat at the table. And this is where I find myself blown away by the truth of this text. The King gave a lam man a seat at his table because of a promise he made to that man’s father. Mephibosheth did nothing to earn a seat at the table. He wasn’t even a member of the royal family anymore. King Saul, Mephibosheth’s grandfather, was disgraced at this point and David was on the throne.

But it didn’t change anything for David. He made a promise. He was going to stay true to that promise to honor Jonathan’s family. Here’s the point…

You have a seat at the King’s table. When Christ died, that sacrifice gave you a seat at the table. You don’t have to be on the margins searching for scraps anymore. You don’t have to hope someone notices you and recognizes you are hungry and in need. Christ made it so you can sit at the table of the King. Lame? No problem. Have a seat!

Disgraced? Not anymore. Pull up a chair, there’s plenty of room!

Scared? Lonely? Let me grab you a plate, we have a spot for you.

Jesus didn’t die for the good people. Jesus died for the lame people. The people who stagger and stumble and fall. Today, I’m especially grateful for that. I hope you know two things:

  1. It rains sometimes.
  2. You have a spot at the table.

One of the reasons the thunder doesn’t scare me anymore is because as I got older I realized the thunder wasn’t the dangerous thing. It only sounded ominous. Sometimes we have to recognize things for what they are and put them in perspective. Other times they are just as scary as they sound. But the truth is, there’s always a seat at the King’s table.

Don’t confuse the rain for some sort of sign that God has abandoned or forsaken you. Instead let it remind you that there is a seat waiting for you at the King’s table.

Even if you have to stagger on lame feet to get there.

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