Friday, October 28, 2011

Pray For Rain

It was a dark and stormy night… really.  I had just finished a wedding ceremony and many from the wedding party were meeting for dinner at a Japanese steakhouse.  A torrential rain storm had opened up and just getting from the car to the front door of the restaurant was a swim Michael Phelps would be proud of.  I walked inside and the owner / host greeted me with a question that annoys the bejeebers out of me, “How do you like this weather?”  I answered the only way I know how, truthfully.  “The weather is wonderful.”  The host was completely caught off guard by this jovial response, “So you like all this rain?”  Again, the truth, “I love rain.  I’m looking forward to a great dinner here tonight and I hope all the animals and crops that are on the menu tonight got a whole lot of rain before they came to the kitchen.”  Let’s get a word from our Great Chef… I mean Sponsor:
He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. (Matthew 5:45)
This verse explains that God is impartial, regardless of man’s wishes or wisdom.  Pay close attention to the phrasing of this verse.  Read it from the perspective of human thought - “you get what you deserve”. 

The sun rises on the evil… and also on the good. 
He sends rain on the righteous… and also on the unrighteous. 

The bad people deserve bad weather - a scorching blistering drought; the good people deserve good weather - plenty of rain to water their crops and cool the earth.  Jesus basically told us "the weather is wonderful" and the righteous understand the great value of rainfall.

Here’s a fantastic song, Trouble In The Fields, from one of my favorite singer / song writers, Nancy Griffith (second verse and chorus):
There's still a lotta love, here in these troubled fields
There's a book up on the shelf about the dust bowl days
And there's a little bit of you and a little bit of me
In the photos on every page
Now our children live in the city and they rest upon our shoulders
They never want the rain to fall or the weather to get colder

And all this trouble in our fields
If this rain can fall, these wounds can heal
They'll never take our native soil
But if we sell that new John Deere
And then we'll work these crops with sweat and tears
You'll be the mule I'll be the plow
Come harvest time we'll work it out
Nancy, raised in the arid Texas panhandle, knows how desperately farmers need rain.  City slickers eat food, but aren't involved in growing it so they see rain as "bad" weather.  Let’s think about it.  Does NASA send explorations to the Moon and to Mars to see if there is any sunshine there?  No, the search for life is the search for water.  All this is an excellent example of how self-focused we can become.  Followers of Jesus look to Him for guidance about what is good and profitable for us.  Followers of Jesus trust God to be greater than the circumstances of our lives and whether we like them or not.  The next time your picnic gets rained out, take a moment to thank God that you have food to eat at all.

Clark H Smith

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