The point of the song title is the expression of paradox. I’m not singing because of the rain, nor even despite the rain. The two are just juxtaposed. It’s a paradox. Sue me.
Life is like that. Paul describes the Christian experience like this: “…as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing everything.” (2 Corinthians 6:8-10). But how can you be always rejoicing if you are sometimes sorrowful? Is there such a thing as”sorrowful joy” or “joyful sorrow”?
Yes indeed, we rest in a sovereign God and yet live in a sinful world. We’re singing in the rain.
Paul says that he is “as having nothing, yet possessing everything.” Luther put it this way, “A Christian is a perfectly free lord of all, subject to none. A Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all.” In other words, when you are adopted into the family of God through faith in Jesus, some of the same paradoxes that marked Jesus mark you as well. Having nothing yet possessing everything.
Subject to no one, yet servant of all.
And look at 1 Corinthians 7:29–31, “The time has grown very short; from now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods, and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it.”
Am I called to love and care for my wife and yet pretend she’s not there? Do I grieve as though there were no tragedy? Do I do business with the world as if my dealings were nothing?
Yes. It’s a paradox. It’s “through a glass darkly” isn’t it? One day it’ll all come together. One day there will be no paradox, only clarity. But now…
But neither do we live in confusion. I think it helps just to be aware of this double-sided nature of everything: we’re living on earth, conscious of heaven.