Are Raindrops Falling on Your Head?

Written By: Chris Mace
Are Raindrops Falling on Your Head?

Gerber Daisies and Rain on the Window Pane

There is an old saying that “when it rains, it pours.” That has happened to us in Maine this fall. We all enjoy a warm, gentle, refreshing rain shower but not those torrential downpours which relentlessly toss about their windy havoc, flood our cellars, and leave us powerless. Sometimes, life is like that. Behind one bad situation lurks another. We become caught in a vortex of troubles and spiral into anxiety or anger and depression, or a sense of helplessness and hopelessness, and the thought that God has abandoned us.

Bert Bacharach’s Oscar winning theme song for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head.” It expresses a somewhat cavalier, whimsical approach to life as depicted by the those two loveable, happy-go-lucky bank robbers! Despite the mishaps that kept occurring, their attitudes inspired the lines, “But there’s one thing I know…It won’t be long ‘til happiness steps up to meet me.”

That kind of optimism isn’t always our attitude. In Psalms 42 and 43, the Psalmist expressed those negative feelings while facing adversaries and injustices. He vented and lamented his distress but not to his friends. He gave his concerns to God. As he contemplated his relationship with God, his attitude changed. He and God had a history. Despite his pain, he remembered God’s powerful blessings of the past. God was his Rock. He knew that God is good and trustworthy and would redeem his suffering. He refocused his emotional responses to his suffering by centering his thought on God’s goodness and love and steadfast faithfulness. He repeatedly asked himself,  “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Then he turned his thoughts outward and upward: “Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation.”(42:5,11; 43:5)

The Psalmist shows us the road to Biblical optimism by providing a great model to follow when we are distressed. He “thirsts” for God “as a deer pants for flowing streams.”(1) He looks for God in his situations and learns to be patient (2) and is encouraged as he remembers prior blessings in his life. (3) He knows that God loves him, (4) and he prays to God (5) while searching and relying upon the light of God’s word to lead him.(6) He trusts and submits to God (7) and places his hope in God,(8) in whom he finds safety, comfort and healing.(9)

We may have severe trials to lament, but turning our thoughts to God and His merciful nature and remembering the extent of His redemptive love and grace shown us in the sufferings of Christ help us rise above our self-centeredness to spiritual renewal and confidence that God’s timing and resolution is perfect. In the midst of terrible spiritual agony, Christ prayed, “Not my will, but Thine be done.”

When our self-talk speaks from a place of faith, self-pity will not overwhelm us. Storms may pour down their rain, but confidence in God’s goodness will sustain us.

1 (42:1-2); 2 (42:2-5); 3 (42:4,6,8);4 (42:8); 5 (these Psalms are prayers); 6(43:3); 7 (43:4); 8 (42:5,11; 43:5); 9 (42:10)


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