Make it Rain

Smoke SmallMy jeans are smoked. Not smokin’. Smoked.

They hung on the line as ash fell like snow and billows of grey rolled through in post-apocalyptic waves. It’s not from wild fires or a volcano; it’s from people burning their fields. On purpose.

Some of the fires are started by mischievous boys, but many of them are set by people who believe that smoke causes rain to come.

And we need rain badly.

People’s sweet potato crops are starting to fail, and the ground is too hard and dry to plant anything new. Rain tanks are going empty. Even the rivers are running low. And the days roll on, sunny and smoky and snowing ash, and we know there’s nothing to do but wait.

I don’t know about you, but waiting is not my favorite, especially when the need feels great and God’s response seems slow. We’re praying and praying, but at the end of the day all we can do is lean into the silence, trusting that God hears.

We can’t make it rain. We can’t beg and whine God into submission. And when we try to force His hand, we get destructive real fast. Hopes and dreams burn, relationships dry up, and our faith shrivels and drifts in the wind, and we’re left striped with swaths of black where there used to be life.

One of my earliest memories is of being held by my mom and watching smoke pour out of our apartment building, and the funny thing is that I wasn’t at all afraid. In the middle of the noise and chaos and fire trucks, I snuggled in my yellow footie jammies up against my mom’s shoulder and went to sleep. I trusted and I rested.

There are things I would change if I could. Violence and fear are part of the fabric of life for a lot of people. Kids go hungry, hopelessness suffocates, and crime is just a fact of life. People I love carry wounds too deep for me to handle, and we hide our real selves behind walls of spiritual self-sufficiency.

And there’s nothing we can do.

Because we can’t make new life come. We can’t sustain or make things blossom and grow. We can’t heal and soften anything, even in our own selves. We can’t make it rain. It’s all up to God.

But we can wait. And trust. And rest.

“LORD, my heart is not proud, my eyes are not haughty. I don’t concern myself with matters too great or awesome for me. But I have stilled and quieted myself, just as a small child is quiet with its mother. Yes, like a small child is my soul within me. O Israel, put your hope in the LORD – now and always. “ ~Psalm 131

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