When it rains in Oklahoma, it is a beautiful thing. Our area of the state is often parched for want of moisture. This Spring we have been blessed with a much greater supply of rain than the past three years. In fact, the two years prior recorded the worst drought in decades. Today the rain is steady. It pummels my steel roof and sounds like the rush of a giant waterfall. It's soothing. It makes me sleepy. But more than anything, it makes me grateful. I am so grateful for the life-giving water; Oklahoma actually has an abundance of hay for the cattle and horses that dot the countryside, now.
My neighbor, Melanie, will love this outpouring--so will her garden. She has painstakingly and faithfullly planted corn and beans, and other veggies to can for the coming winter. Sunday, she excitedly shared how high her corn and greenbeans had grown. Today's rain will triple their height in a couple of days when the sun returns this afternoon. I love the childlike excitement Melanie has in her new-found gardening adventures. I can hardly wait to hear her praise for the rain and share in her joy of God's provision.
As I ponder how good it feels for me to hear her--or any other--praise God for His blessings, I consider how much more our Father in Heaven delights in it. Our praise is a fragrance to Him. As we acknowledge the Giver of life, the Provider of rain and sun, our faith is strengthened and filled with endurance to praise Him even in the droughts of life. After all, we don't always have the rain. I've never lived in such a dry climate. While I love the perpetual sunshine, most gardens, lawns and fields often struggle to produce under its constant heat. Last year the drought was so bad, many farmers had to sell off their cattle and horses because they had no hay to feed them, and the grass was nothing but dried splinters. Today is a treat. A refreshing. A restoration for our land. When it rains, somehow, God's presence and compassion seems all the more powerful and comforting.
"13 As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
14 For he knows our frame;
he remembers that we are dust. 15 As for man, his days are like grass;
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.
17 But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,
and his righteousness to children's children,
18 to those who keep his covenant
and remember to do his commandments." Psalm 102:13-18
When it rains, a visible blessing is apparent. Especially for those in need of its sustaining benefits. Yet greater, still, is the blessing of knowing the Creator of the rain. Greater is the knowledge of God's grace and provision for life everlasting through the attoning work of Christ on the cross. Greater is His promise of steadfast love to those who fear Him. Greater is His righteousness to children's children.
When it rains, are you reminded of the inconveniences, the need for umbrellas, and the parades that must be canceled? Are you overwhelmed when it overflows a creekbed, or washes out a road? Or are you reminded of this steadfast love in all situations? this righteousness that spans decades upon decades? these benefits that are visible, that increase your faith in the invisible? I pray it is the latter. selahV