Not long ago, our part of the country was experiencing exceptional drought conditions, and it was like that for year after year. It was incredibly hot and dry. The leaves on the trees died (as did many of the trees), it was so hot that I could almost feel my skin burning anytime I was outside, and the ground was beyond parched. Any little bit of rain we would get was nothing compared to what we needed to get “caught up.” We went day after day, month after month, with no rain at all. Clouds would come in and tease us, then blow away without leaving enough behind to settle the dust. We were desperate for rain.
We prayed for rain like we would have prayed for food if we’d been starving. I told the girls that when it finally started raining we weren’t going to complain about the inconvenience or discomfort. We were going to thank God for every drop we got.
It finally started raining enough to slowly improve drought conditions. Last summer was unseasonably cool and wet, and that has continued through the fall and winter. We are starting our second week of having precipitation, so it’s cold and damp here, which is something we’re not used to. When I woke up this morning, I was so tempted to complain about how tired I am of rain. And then I remembered how thankful I should be. I remembered how terrible the absence of rain is, and I decided to be thankful instead that our area is getting the rain it needs to recover from the drought. It is getting the rain we need to have healthier crops and healthier trees and grasses. This is cause for rejoicing, not complaining!
I find myself doing the same thing in my role as wife and mother. How many times while I was growing up, and on into adulthood, did I pray for the man who would become my husband, did I ask God to give me children? Too many times to count. And I got what I prayed for—a man who loves me and loves the Lord, is faithful, works hard, and is a good father to our children. I got two beautiful daughters who have already made professions of faith, who work hard at their school work, who have gifts, talents, and abilities that will serve them well throughout their lives, and who are compassionate and kind. What more could a woman ask for, right?
All too often, I find myself complaining about my family too. If they don’t do something exactly like I would do it, or they do something that irritates or aggravates me, I find myself ready to grumble and complain instead of rejoicing and praising God for this beautiful, wonderful family He has blessed me with.
I think it’s the human condition. We are more likely to be negative than positive unless we set our minds to be intentional about gratitude and praising God for what He’s already given us.
Despite my circumstances being far from what I would like for them to be right now, I am incredibly blessed. It’s time I started acting like it.
Remember the story of Noah in the Bible? God flooded the entire earth for 40 days and nights, but He found Noah to be a righteous man and allowed him to prepare for him and his family to be saved. When it was all said and done, God sent a glorious sign— a beautiful rainbow to represent His promise to never flood the entire earth again. I know that in today’s culture, the rainbow can represent many ungodly things, but first and foremost to me, the rainbow will always be a representation of God’s promise.
Yesterday, my story was a little backwards from Noah’s. It was early morning and I was driving my girls to school. It was bright and sunny and there was an absolutely gorgeous rainbow in the sky. I love rainbows, but for some reason, this one really struck me. I felt like God placed it there just for me! It was there in the sky just screaming to me, “He will always fulfill His promises! He is a faithful and just God!” It put a smile on my face and although I was in a decent mood, my countenance became even brighter.
In Noah’s story, the sign of God’s promise came at the end. However, I’ve noticed a lot in my life that the sign of God’s promise comes before the promise is fulfilled. I know what the promise is, I just have to wait for it sometimes. That’s how it was yesterday. We’ve had very, very little rain this year. The slightest few raindrops have become a precious commodity around here. Yesterday afternoon, God blessed us with a rainstorm. The sound of the thunder and the sound of the rain pouring down was almost as sweet to me as the sound of my children laughing. I’ve never noticed until this particular rainstorm how exciting and stunning a rainstorm could actually be. It was beautiful!
As I contemplated how unnatural the rain seemed to be, and began to thank God for His outpouring, I heard Him say, “I sent you a sign this morning didn’t I? My promises are real.” So if you’re anywhere close to giving up on your promises, hang in there!! Sometimes the sign comes at the beginning, not the end. And sometimes the fulfillment is closer than you realize!
There are so many people in need right now. This world is hurting. There seems to be no hope for several during this time of uncertainty. Jobs are scarce. Food sources are depleting due to natural disaster. Those who do have the means to help others have grown more selfish and have turned to hoarding what they have. Society is “drinking” up their resources or buying drugs, gambling, or anything else to find an unnatural high, to tune out God’s wooing.
In the days of Noah, he warned that the rain was coming. For the people to get ready. But because it had never rained before, the people did not believe him. They carried on with their ways of life and those ways were not pleasing to God.
In these days of perilous times, and this is NOT the worst of it by any means, people have been warned and warned over and over, that the day of Christ return is at hand. Instead of getting ready, they continue to live as the people in the day of Noah did. Doing what “feels good” to them. Believing every wave of doctrine.
My Bible tells me that the ONLY way to Heaven, is through Christ Jesus. If you believe in any other way, or agree with anyone on their ways and it’s not Jesus, you are calling the Bible a lie and my God a liar. My God does not lie. The father of lies is satan himself and his deception has corrupted this earth. Satan has caused people to believe that their works can get them to Heaven or any other god can lead them there. NOT TRUE! Jesus is the ONE true way.
We need to ask God to open the eyes of our heart and be bold enough to speak the unadulterated Word of God to those who are not walking in His ways. Because when the rain starts falling, it’s too late…