The thunder reverberates in waves outside. Again.
I have been here before.
Usually, the sound gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside and I smile and breathe a prayer of thanks to the Creator.
It is, after all, Springtime in the foothills of the Ozarks, and time for the thunderstorms and the rain that replenish the many rivers and lakes. The farmers count on the rainfall for a good year, some needing plentiful hay crops for livestock, while others await the yield of fruit on trees and vines, come Fall.
Rain is essential to all life.
There is no smile on my face tonight. The prayers I’m breathing to the Creator are for relief from the torrential downpours which have caused incredible hardship for many and even loss of life for some. The floods have carried away people and property alike. To some, it must appear that rain is to be hated, an evil thing intent on their destruction.
Rain is essential to all life.
It’s still true, isn’t it?
He makes the rain to fall on the just and the unjust equally. He sends the rain to fulfill His purpose and it will not return to the heavens without accomplishing what it was sent out for. Rain waters the earth, and the earth give forth its harvest. Again and again. One season follows another, the cycle uninterrupted.
Still, I’m not smiling. I don’t even know what to say in my prayers now.
I agree that we require rain for life. I dare not ask for the cycle to be broken. And yet. . .
My friend and his family spent last night in one end of his home, waiting for the old oak trees to topple onto the roof at the other end. Two had already fallen and crushed cars in the driveway and these were leaning, their roots pulling loose from the wet soil.
Others I know have spent dark, damp nights waiting for the break of day to see where the water line is on their walls and furniture. Still others have prayed and cried as the waters rose and then receded.
Their homes were untouched, but not their spirits.
And suddenly I know how to pray.
Why do we focus on the physical, when God clearly places a premium on our spiritual well being? Are we really that short sighted?
“Please God, take this away from me! I don’t want to suffer.”
It’s the prayer I have prayed again and again. The same prayer I have heard from loved ones.
I’m still not smiling. I am filled with hope, though.
I will sit, here in the comfort and safety (for now) of my home, and pray for the protection of the spirits and souls of my friends and all those affected by the disasters they are suffering.
God has not promised ease and comfort, nor has He guaranteed physical immunity from disaster. What He has vowed is that the uncomfortable and dangerous times will not touch the real us–the center of our being which is of infinite value to Him.
When you walk through the floods, they will not overwhelm you! When you walk through the flame, you won’t be burned. Have no fear; I have redeemed you; I have called you by name. You are mine!
Is the physical suffering real? Does He care about that? Yes and yes! But, He cares so much more about who we are beyond the physical and the temporal.
He intends to spend eternity with us! How would He not keep us from harm?
It doesn’t mean I’m about to start smiling yet. People I know are still frightened and sad. He made us to care about that. But, deep down, I know that God’s got this.
He’s got this!
The waters will recede. The trees will be cut up to use as firewood next winter. Life goes on.
The cycle is unbroken.
Here comes the rain again.
God is good.
“When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.”
(Corrie Ten Boom ~ Dutch author/Nazi Holocaust survivor ~ 1892-1983)
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.
(Isaiah 43:2 ~ ESV)
© Paul Phillips. He’s Taken Leave. 2015. All Rights Reserved.