How Beautiful, A Gentle Rain

Yesterday, 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 the bank.

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.

My 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.

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