The sound of rain can be welcome or worrisome. Recently it rained almost nonstop for 30 plus hours. Sometimes it poured, sometimes it came in torrents, occasionally it pattered lightly. Our 12 pound Boston Terrier Molly refused to go out. We waited and watched, sending her out into a brief break in the rain, so brief, she returned wet.
I remember the welcome sound of rain breaking a long dry spell. When I lived in North Dakota, drought meant tough times for farm families and the communities that depended on good harvests for financial stability. Economies thrived or starved based on each year’s harvest. Spring rains were celebrated unless the rain pushed late, delaying planting in a state where winter could arrive not long after summer’s end. And rain during harvest season was more curse than blessing. Rain that dripped into my North Dakota home through a leaky roof brought me to tearful pleas to God as I lacked the money to pay a professional roofer. Friends from our church put the roof on for free. All I had to do was buy the materials. I thought about God’s grace every time I heard the volunteer work crew on the roof.
Now we once again have a leaky roof. It’s a much smaller roof, one Ken will patch. We live in a small doublewide in a 55 plus community in Port Orange, Florida rather than the large three floor home with roofs at various levels. Ken waits for cooler weather before the roof fixing project. He’s done temporary patching for now. Thus, we both eyed the ceiling as rain continued. Sure enough the relentless rain succeeded as a new wet spot popped up in a living room corner. As we prepared for bed, I began to think about Noah’s wife. “I think I would have lost it if I had to live on an ark while it rained for 40 days and 40 nights. I’m wondering if I can make it 40 hours. The drainage ditch is full again. It makes me nervous. What if it comes up into the yard, into our house?” I am mentally back during the three week siege where I lived behind dikes during a major flood in eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota. I see the black cold water pressing against the dikes, creeping under one area into the garage. I don’t share this with Ken. I stick with Noah’s wife. “All that rain, all those animals, creepy insects, snakes. I don’t think I could have stood it.”
Ken chuckles as we turn out the lights. “You would have probably bailed out, jumped into the water.”
I don’t answer. I am thinking. Would I have done that? Would I have been a whiny wife, forgetting that it was God who directed Noah’s ark project, who brought the flood, who promised safety? Would I have tried to give God a better plan? Do I still do that? I know I do. I’m an obsessive, compulsive planner. I have a list of sorrows I bring to God daily. I want God to fix people I love, to take away problems that haunt them, to bring relief. I may not be on Noah’s ark but I sometimes just want to bail, to quit trusting God. But I don’t. I can’t. As the philosopher Blaise Pascal once said, “There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus.” I fall asleep to the sound of rain and trusting Jesus with my sorrows. More than that I thank God for the good and the bad. My life is like a tapestry. If one strand is removed, others will follow. It has to remain whole. I truly do thank God for all of it.
Psalm 28:7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.
LORD of all, my all in all, I thank you for the blessings in my life, from the day I was conceived to now when I approach my 75th birthday. I thank you for the disappointments, the times of discouragement, for the sorrows. I am able to do this because my heart does trust in you LORD. Thank you for your grace.