I am not one to pay much attention to the weather. If I want to have an idea of what it’s going to be like in any given week, I just ask my husband as he’s usually all over it. I saw a post this week, though, that caught my eye. A friend whose husband is a farmer said, “WE NEED RAIN.”
If we don’t get some soon, she explained, planting will be pointless because it won’t make it through the rock hard ground. What an interesting vision that created for me. I know farmers have some highly sophisticated equipment today and it’s crazy to think of these expensive machines doing everything they have been programmed to do, yet being unsuccessful. Seems like an easy enough process. Get the seed. Dig a hole. Drop it in. Repeat. Yet we forgot one of the key ingredients to planting. Find good soil. It’s the only way to have a productive crop.
Now where they are attempting to plant may have been good soil to start with, possibly the best around. But day after day, with being scorched and burned by the sun, it’s lost the ability to be fertile, a farmer’s nightmare. We need rain.
I will never forget when we lived in Arizona many years ago. My then 4-year old son and I were at a playground with a friend of his and her mother. The kids were having a wonderful time and I was loving the interaction with another human being that didn’t say ‘Mommy’ 100 times a day. About thirty minutes into our time, it started to sprinkle, if you could even call it that. Maybe just a spritz…it was barely noticeable to me.
But not to my son’s friend. She started to cry immediately. The mother, who is one of the most patient and kind women I have ever met, gently explained it was just the rain. It was not going to hurt her. But this child had lived in Arizona since she was a baby and had only seen rain a handful of times and it terrified her. It was like she couldn’t understand what was happening. She wanted no part of it. Although it never turned into anything more than a drizzle, we had to leave. This little girl was precious so it wasn’t a big deal and of course, with it being Arizona, it never happened again in the 2 years we lived there.
It still makes me laugh considering the weather I remember playing in as a child growing up in Pennsylvania. We had it all: gentle rains, steady downpours, sheets that came in sideways. As a child, you just kept right on playing like it wasn’t even happening. But it’s all about where you have been planted and what you have been through that shapes who you are. We don’t always like the rain, but that doesn’t stop it from coming. We have to find our way through it.
Many of us may have heard the parable from the Bible Jesus told about planting seeds and what happens to those that are planted among the rocks, the thorns or along the path. None of them survived. But the seed that fell on good soil, produced crop many times what was sown.
Obviously, this was a story to teach us a lesson, but if we relate it to everyday life like that of a farmer, the good soil would not be enough. We would also need the rain. And what can that mean in our lives? The rain can be exactly what we are asking for to make things in our lives flourish, a cleansing of sorts. But it can also be our difficulties. Too much rain for a farmer is as devastating as too little. A flood can destroy our best laid plans. Like my son’s friend, this is when life gets confusing, we don’t understand why the sky seems to be falling. But what I believe is that none of it will be pointless.
One of my favorite songs says, “What if our blessings come through raindrops? What if our healing comes through tears? What if a thousand sleepless nights is what it takes to know You’re here? And what if trials of this life, are Your mercies in disguise?” What another amazing vision that gives me. Our family has certainly been through tears. Without them, you would not be reading this blog. I would not have written a book. But the blessings from the Heaven sent rain were worth the journey. Was it confusing? Yes. Did it feel like a flood? Yes. Would I want to go through it again? No. But what I can say is being able to plant my weakness in the fertile ground that is Jesus made all the difference.
I will praying for rain.
It’s not what you think. I will not be asking for difficulties so we can be blessed by it. I will be praying for rain for the farmers, now that I see how much that affects the livelihood of others. But, if unexpected rain does come into my family again as it has in the past, I am going to try my best to be the good soil God needs me to be so I can grow strong. I will try not to let life scorch and burn me to the point of being unplantable. Although it’s been difficult at times, our family has undoubtedly been blessed through the rain and hopefully so will the lives of others because of it.
There is only one other thing missing that we all learned in elementary school we need for things to grow. Good soil. Rain. SUNSHINE. For me, sunshine comes in the form of hope. Hope that through all the hardships this life has to offer: sickness, tragedy, death, suffering, that God is laying a path. I don’t claim any of it to be an easy path. I know we got the happy ending this time and many others don’t, but I still believe each and everyday brings hope for new life, for new crops to be sown that multiply many times over.
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