When You Can’t Make It Rain
Still no rain.
People sometimes joke about the forests of Western NC being rain forests. Not this year. We haven’t had enough rain to count since August. And the forecast isn’t promising.
I’ve certainly prayed about the weather before. Prayed that it would or would not precipitate depending on my plans. Prayed for sunshine for farmers putting up hay. Prayed for the power to stay on in a storm.
But this time there’s an urgency I’ve never experienced before. In the past, my weather prayers were about convenience and preference. If there was real need, it was someone else’s. But now I see the creek dwindling out back. I wonder if our well will hold out. I wonder how the flora and fauna of these mountains I love will be affected.
And I’m a little bit afraid.
What I’ve noticed is that my prayers for rain are REAL. Because there’s simply nothing else I can do.
- When I pray not to catch a virus going around the office, I also wash my hands, wipe surfaces down with Lysol, and take vitamins.
- When I pray for a friend who is sick, I also take her some soup or a book, send a note, or research possible treatments.
- When I pray for a family member’s situation, I also help with his finances, research housing options, and call to cheer him up.
But there’s nothing I can do about the weather. Oh, I wear my rain coat and carry an umbrella. I joke about doing a rain dance. But none of that makes a difference. Which means prayer is it–the sum total of my contribution to an environmental crisis. And that’s a helpless feeling.
Which, I suspect, is right where God wants me. Recognizing that I am helpless, powerless, feeble, and useless . . . without Him.
I can’t make it rain. But I CAN ask God to. Every day, several times, with hope in my heart. And then I can trust that he’ll do what’s best in light of eternity.
The hard part will be to carry that lesson into all the other areas of my life where I only think I have control, and let God have his way there as well. Because his way is the best way, even when I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, the rain cloud on the horizon, or the perfect plan he’s worked out for his beloved children.