Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
-Philippians 4:8 (Bible, King James Version)
How Beautiful, A Gentle Rain
I was reminded of something that was life changing when I was about 10
years old. First I received a recorded message of someone praying that
the drought would be broken and that we would have rain. Then I went out
to get my mail late in the day and a neighbor was looking to the West
and becoming excited that maybe we would get rain. I told him about rain
and how the farmer depends on rain for his very life and provision.
I heard the news reports that our president is going to send money to
those farmers hit with drought. Do we think beyond that statement that
without rain money is helpful but not a solution. We need our fields to
produce. We need farmers who raise good food that is not all screwed up
with chemicals and genetic altering. No rain equals not enough food to
feed our people and others. How hungry are we. How much do we care about
this and will we care when our money that we fight for individually be
our salvation if we do not have enough to buy food no matter what is in
Book learning but no Godly wisdom equals stupidity on
crack. All it takes is for us to KNOW that God is good and He is love
but where is that being preached today. Sin and destruction is mostly
preached and many have left the "house of God" which I put in quotes
because it is not the house of the God of goodness but a god of hate and
judgment and condemnation.
How can we get on our knees and see
God as good if we have never been taught that the true God is a God of
great provision and love and kindness. Where in this world can we look
and see an example of that when we look at Christians who take more than
even the people who never spend time with God. So, here is my story of
what I learned as a child and was reminded of when I looked out the
window this morning as my eyes opened.
Daddy was a farmer in
the Detroit area. We had a farm that was situated in the middle of
neighbors that worked in the factories, schools, etc. Their income was
much more than ours by leaps and bounds so maybe rain was not so
important to them. They had their provision.
Daddy came into the house with tears in his eyes. I never saw him cry many times in his life. This may be the reason why:
Daddy quit school in the eighth grade as the youngest of seven children
and went to work on his mother's farm the year the depression started.
That was the same year my grandfather died of cancer and left my
grandmother a widow with a mountain of debt. There was no social
security. There were no government helps at all. But there was God.
All of the children came home to work the 80 acres that they had and a
kind neighbor who was prospering during that time took a little
13-year-old boy by the hand (my father), and taught him how to prosper
that land without hurting the creation around him. They taught him how
to be a vegetable farmer instead of a grain farmer which brought in more
income. They taught him how to give the land a rest (a bible
principle). They taught him how to respect the birds and insects and
trees and work with them to produce a wonderful product to feed the
people of the area and pay off the debt my grandfather had accumulated
before his death. The other six siblings worked hard on the farm and in
factories to contribute to paying off the farm debts and grandma said
that when she went into her pantry to get ingredients for making food
for the family, she always found the food replenished without her having
to add to it. That is the background of my father who always knew Who
to Praise for what we had.
So now, fast forward to when I was
ten years old and the crops are burning up in the fields. Grandma had
sold her farm. Daddy got very little from the sale of that land and was
forced to trust in God to find another farm in his mid 40s to start
over. My mother worked in an office and Daddy and her bought a farm that
they could afford in the middle of an area that was mostly developed
with homes. Daddy was fearful of a mortgage on that farm but there was
no other choice if he was to continue to farm. Then the very first year
there was no rain and we did not have irrigation. This is the reason
Daddy was in tears when he came in the house that day.
mother took him by the hand and they sat at the kitchen table in that
big old farm kitchen and they bowed their heads and asked God for the
rain. As a child I will never forget the complete trust and helplessness
of my parents as they prayed. I could not picture anything else but
rain after that.
In the morning, I heard Daddy come rushing
into the house very early with such a shout of joy. It had not only
rained on our farm but it was a good rain that gently soaks into the
ground all night long instead of raining hard and running off the dry
land. This is the same kind of rain that I woke up to this morning that
was gentle, soft, and nourishing. Daddy, exclaimed to my mother, as I
listened from another room, that only our land had been rained on that
night and all the crops had been watered. The land surrounding us was as
dry as a bone.
You may say "coincidence," but there is no such
word or concept in the Hebrew language. God does not include a concept
in His language that is not true. Today, I thank God for the provision
of rain in our country that only God can bring and ask that we would be
able to see God's goodness in a world that is filled with so much hurt,
hate, and distress. Where is the preaching of who God really is. God is a
God filled with love for all of us and no one seems to be teaching
about that goodness. No wonder so many do not see God's goodness and so
many people hurt.