When it rained a half an inch on July 3rd, it refreshed more than our crunchy grass. Our spirits drank in the gift. You couldn’t have blown the sappy grins off our faces with a sparkler bomb like my son had just caught my flower bed on fire with. Stresses melted as we celebrated the blessing of living in this great country and our long-lost friend, the rain, coming for a visit.
Last Sunday, a mere one week later, the temperatures had maintained the 100+ degree range. Throw out a few shells on our lawn and I have some beach property for sale-minus the ocean. Some of Cliff’s jobs had shifted from oilfield to helping desperate ranchers dig for water. Waking that morning to overcast skies and rumbles of thunder was like salve to our sun-burnt spirits. Weatherbug Cliff was looking at the radar on the laptop, when I asked him if we had gotten anything yet.
“Nope. It missed us.” He stomped out the door to go water his roses-again.
Surely that couldn’t be right. I grabbed the laptop and checked several sites. Little green blobs danced around us with nary a chance headed our way. My anger flared.
“Lord what is the deal? EVERYONE around has been getting rain. Why not us? We have been praying and counting on ‘If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I will hear from heaven and forgive their sin and heal their land‟. My hand was on my hip as I shared my frustrations with the Giver of the Rain. “Everything is burned up. Grasshoppers have stripped the garden. For farmers and ranchers its past critical.” Through clenched teeth, I growled “I think we have been humbled enough, already!”
Only by the grace of God did lightning not strike Little Miss Tude dead. Instead, he answered me in a combination of ways. Like the quiet voice saying: “If you are done, I beg to differ about your humility. When your daughter at Emporia called and mentioned it rained, you popped off ‘well, it must be nice!’ When Pratt or Kiowa had the blessing come their way, you pouted. Honey, this is not a competition. Everyone is dry and I am using it for good that you can’t see. Can you trust me?”
As I plopped on my porch glider to eat the humble pie the Lord had prepared for breakfast, my Chronological Bible had me hanging out with Elijah. Seriously. Three years of no rain. Even Mr. Chariots of Fire‟s stream dried up. But, as unconventional (and gross) as it was, God sent the ravens to feed him as secretly his good was at work.
Later at church we went to the verses before and after the famous ‘humbling’ verse in 2 Chronicles 7:13-16. Oh my! Read it for yourself. A guaranteed goosebumps passage.
It was enough to bring us Methodists to our knees in a way we hadn’t experienced in ages. Rain came in tears streaming down our faces. May we not forget to humbly come together as we pray for those drying up through all of the plains states, fighting fires next door and far off, and those who are watching their homes and lives float away, and wish they had it as good as we do.