A Word of Encouragement from Elizabeth Rice Handford

It’s a cold, bleak rainy December morning, and I’m staring out the window. I’m trying to motivate myself to start doing the “eleventeen” things I need to accomplish today. But the sky is so gray, the cold bone-chilling, and my list of “things I must do” lengthens by the minute. And almost everything I have to do today I’ll have to do again tomorrow. Christmas looms, and I’ve only bought two gifts. What a yucky day!

Then I remember the story my father told from his boyhood. He often rode with the doctor in his buggy on his house calls in that ranch community, to open and close the gates.

“Isn’t this is an awful rainy day, Doctor?” the little boy John asked the doctor.

“No, John, this is a wonderful rainy day, just like there are wonderful sunshiny days,”

the doctor answered. “Every day God gives us just the right weather. Sometimes we need sunshine. But sometimes, like today, we need the rain. Else how could we grow vegetables in the garden and grain for the cattle? Yes, John, this is a wonderful rainy day.”

A wonderful rainy day? Yes, today is a precious gift from God.

This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

So today is a good, cold and rainy, dark morning. And because the Lord made this day, and tailored it just for the needs of all humanity, then I should rejoice and be glad in it.

But there’s an even greater, precious secret about this rainy day. You’ll find it two verses ahead of this familiar verse:

The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone.
This was the Lord’s doing;
It is marvelous in our eyes. Psalm 118:22,23

Why is this bleak, rainy day a wonderful gift from God? Because Jesus, rejected by the world and crucified, became our Savior. It’s a good day because we need not fear eternity, because Christ died to forgive you and me and everybody else in the whole world who will trust Him. It’s a good day because He is in control of the weather, and everything else. Nothing can happen today without His specific decision. Yes, it’s a good day.

Then, I think maybe the Lord said to me, “Libby, time’s up. No more pity party. Instead of complaining, shouldn’t you be thanking Me for all these wonderful opportunities I’ve given you to serve Me? After all, this is the day I made just for you, so stop grumbling and get to work. You could maybe start by putting a load of clothes in the washer.”

So I did. It turned out to be a wonderful day, even with the rain.