I began to wonder where the saying originated and if it is actually true. So I did some research and discovered that the rhyme doesn’t have a clear-cut origin. In 1557, however, Thomas Tusser, an English poet and farmer, published his book Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandry. In this book, he published the small poem that read: “Sweet April showers, Do bring May flowers”.
This is the first time the rhyme was actually found to be written down. But it may have been in popular usage much earlier. As the book was printed and spread, so too did the usage of the saying spread.
The question still remains, is it really accurate?
While Thomas Tusser didn’t have the advantage of understanding climate patterns and atmospheric conditions, it turns out that he was really on to something. In the United Kingdom and Ireland, an April Shower is the result of the polar jet stream which brings moisture from the Northern Atlantic and dumps it across the land. Those showers can come quickly, drop a lot of water in a short time, and move on out of the area.
In the United States, during the spring, the jet stream brings water from the Pacific Ocean across the United States and precipitation is almost certain. This abundance of rainwater, and sometimes sleet and snow, soaks into the soil and feeds the seeds and plants left behind from fall and winter.
So, April Showers do exist, and they do bring May Flowers in the end! This April, our rainfall totals were above normal. Maybe the flowers of May will be more beautiful than normal as well!
Of course, the realities of life often have a spiritual application, and that is certainly true in this case.
The showers of April can represent our many burdens of life. And they may hit us any month of the year. They could be health issues, financial woes, relationship problems, stress at work or at school, tension within the family, or any number of other things. Everyone goes through bad times in life. No one is exempt from living “real life”. But when you are the one who is facing those “real life” issues, it is easy to wonder what good can come from them.
But God’s Word tells us that the difficulties of life can actually lead us to “hope”. Listen to the words of Paul in Romans 5:1-5, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
Did you notice the progression? First there are faith, peace and grace. Those are important to have when the problems of life come. Then Paul states that when suffering does come, it can produce perseverance, character, and finally hope. And it’s all made possible because of God’s love which is poured out on us.
We had showers in April. Let’s watch for the flowers in May! And if you are going through a difficult time right now, continue to expect God to help you through it and to ultimately fill your heart with hope!
Be sure to take you family to church on Sunday!