In the title song and dance number of the movie “Singing in the Rain”, Gene Kelly is caught in a torrential downpour as he walks home in the evening. It is drenching wet and he is catching a cold, yet although there are storm clouds up above he is happy in his heart because he has found love.
In the season after Easter we continue to celebrate the joyous event of Jesus’ resurrection. The disciples, fearful and mourning, must have been elated at this news. Maybe they thought their troubles were over. On the contrary, on reading the Acts and Epistles, it looks as if their trials had just begun. The young Christian community is encouraged in 1 Peter 1:3-9:
“ Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you rejoice,[a] even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials, 7 so that the genuineness of your faith—being more precious than gold that, though perishable, is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Although you have not seen[b] him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
Suffering continues to be part of life. What Christ has procured for us by His death and resurrection is a “living hope” in which we rejoice even as we presently experience grief or pain.
This hope is not just a longing for something that will happen in the future, but a dynamic faith that brings us through the nasty stuff that we are dealing with today. And this is not just about enduring suffering, but to thrive, “so that the genuineness of your faith . . . may be found to result in praise and glory.”
But how can this be? How can we praise God when we are hurting? My primary impulse is to pray fervently asking God to make the hurt go away. But there is another way. While I am walking in the dark, being drenched and with storm clouds overhead, God is walking with me. His love sustains me. I can be strong because He is strong. I can sing in the rain.