It’s been terribly dry here in Kansas for way too long. The wells out in our “used-to-be-country” neighborhood are running very low. Some have dried up. Some of the ponds used for cattle are just puddles now. And the wheat crop is predicted to be the poorest in 60 years.
Therefore, I was happy to hear a low rumble of thunder early this morning. As I sat on our patio and finished my quiet time, the sky began to darken. I was very thankful for the rain that began to fall. It was a gift from God!
Aaron was out of bed not long after and he sat with me to enjoy the rain as well. Soon we were both ready to head out the door for our Meals on Wheels delivery. The once gentle rain was now a downpour.
“Well,” I told Aaron, “we really need this rain so I’m not going to complain about it.”
We picked up our meals, loading them into the van as the rain came down and our clothes began to get wet. At our first house, I opened the side van door and bagged the food. Rain was a cold presence on the back of my shirt as I tried to lean in the van. Aaron had already run to the client’s door, so I juggled the bag of food and my large umbrella, getting even wetter.
We chatted a minute with our friend, Aaron crunched in the corner of the small porch under a tiny awning and me under the umbrella. Rain washed over us again as we got in the van, feet now soaked from the standing water.
As we backed out of the driveway, I happily made a little rhyme.
“Oh, the rain is a pain but I’m not going to complain!” I sang to Aaron.
Amazingly, he tolerated my silliness and off we went to the next house. More rain, this time with some mud from the unpaved road as well as huge drops of water landing on us under the very low hanging branches at her uncovered door…branches that caught my umbrella and made it useless.
“This is great!” I exclaimed as we handed her the food. “We do need the rain! See you next week!”
By the fifth house, the rain was coming down even harder. We ran up the wheelchair ramp, where our client was already at her door. She was taking the dog bones that Aaron handed her for her two dogs. I handed her the rather soggy bag of food and asked her how she was doing.
“I’m doing just fine,” she said, her face glowing with peace as she sat there in her wheelchair.
She looked then at Aaron.
“Thank you so much for the dog bones,” she told him. “My dogs love you for that.”
Aaron beamed. Then she handed him one of the bones so that he could give it to her rambunctious dog himself. She smiled as much as Aaron as he so excitedly watched the dog eat his bone.
“Thank you and God bless you,” she said as we turned to leave. I noticed how pretty she looked…how content despite her situation.
At the next house we got to see our friend who had a serious fall a couple months ago. She has been in the hospital and in rehab, and today was the first time we have been able to see her since her accident.
Her smile was huge as she greeted us. I wanted to talk about how she is doing but she wanted to focus on Aaron, hearing all about his recent seizure fall. I finally managed to ask about how she’s doing, and she too said that she was getting along fine as she downplayed all that she has been through. She is a sweet believer, and her joy is evident.
My joy was getting harder to muster as we went once more out into the rain.
“Whew!” I said, “I’m getting tired of this rain.”
“But I’m glad we’re getting the rain,” I quickly added as I remembered my earlier determination to be thankful.
My heart felt that little pinch of the Holy Spirit reminding me of just how much this morning is a picture of my life.
Oh, it’s easy to be all spiritual and thankful while I’m sitting on the patio, protected from the rains of life. I can be an observer and have all the answers with all the right verses and attitudes as long as I’m not actually getting wet.
But let me step out into the storm and see what happens. Getting wet and cold and muddy can quickly begin to take a toll on my patio attitude. Soon I’m not so thankful for the rain that I had earlier said I needed.
The splashing of life’s trials has a way of diminishing my once-strong faith.
I feel cold. Tired.
And the path can make my feet muddy.
Misery sets in, no matter how much I said I needed this weather sent from God.
No matter how much I quote Romans 8:28.
And while I may not be actively shaking my fist at God, I find that the flame of faith and joy in my heart is flickering in the rain.
It’s difficult to stay strong and positive in the downpours, especially prolonged storms that have no foreseen solution or resolve.
Honestly, I have been struggling some with Aaron issues over the past few months. Feeling discouraged more than I should.
“Lord! I know I said that I need whatever you send, and that I can trust you. But I’m getting tired and wet and muddy and uncomfortable!”
Yet the Lord, in His patience, used my experience this morning to prod my heart.
And He used the most surprising people to touch my soggy spirit…people who have every reason to be extremely tired of the rains in their lives.
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!
Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication WITH THANKSGIVING let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”