Praise for Rain (and what a drought will show you)

Crumbly leaf, rough bark, helicopter seed. We filled our bag with bits of nature. All our friends around us did the same, racing to check off finds on the list. Farah staggered down stair-stepped roots to the creek, looking for one last thing, a shell. There, a fragile little oval one waited, an empty cup balanced on a table of dirt. I leaned down to pick it up and held it out to her, but she didn’t reach for it.

She stood paused, studying almost. In the middle of a group of boulders, she scanned for something familiar. It had been several weeks since our last time creek stomping…and now it looked like a whole different place.

Before, the kids had splashed down into ripples and slid their feet over slimy rocks. Now they walked out onto dry land. The fallen timber that rested half in, half out of water like some kind of amphibian…now it sprawled over dirt and pebbles, exposed and thirsty.

“It dwied all up,” she rumpled her lips, then looked down at her water shoes, no hint of water on them, “it needs mo’ wain in it.” She kept going, rolling all her Rs out like Ws, “We need wain to come down to get wada in the cweek.”

Toddler talk or not, it was a prayer sung out, a psalm, like David’s cry when he felt His need: “My soul thirsts for You…in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”

The rainless days may have looked like happy blue skies and sunshine, but they were draining us of the basics of life, basics we had no way of replenishing. We thirst for something we cannot supply on our own. We are needy, but so often we don’t see it.

Here in the middle of the dry creek bed, in the dust, my little girl found her need.

The next several days, she talked about it in naptime prayers, and bedtime prayers, and mealtime prayers, always asking for the creek to fill. Over and over she prayed, relentless as the drought, for days that must have seemed like months to her toddler sense of time.

And then one afternoon, after all that waiting…a crack in the sky. We saw the power and glory in blurry window panes. We hollered our thanks and burst into applause and when the thunder moved along, we ventured out into the downpour. Judging from the pictures on instagram, half of you did the same.

Farah laughed at the water that bounced in under the covered porch. She puddle-jumped in her Mary Janes. I didn’t even have to tell her to. She knew what to do. She danced, not to pray for rain, but to praise for it. The person who knows her need is the person who rejoices most wildly at relief.

The next day, we headed back to the forest. There, down the hill, the beginning of her answer to prayer babbled over the rocks. And she stomped right in.

{I’m praying for more rain and wisdom for farmers trying to recover from crop losses in the epicenter of the drought. What has this summer’s stretch of dryness shown you about your need?}

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9 thoughts on “Praise for Rain (and what a drought will show you)

  1. And even cities are revealed…

    I was thinking that in our times of struggle, when we feel we are not having our needs met, when we feel things are going horribly awry, when we feel inadequate, when we feel that God has abandoned us, previously hidden things about us are exposed. Ps 139:23 and 24 says, “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my concerns. See if there is any offensive way in me; lead me in the everlasting way.” I know, and David knew, that God already knows our hearts but it is important that we recognize and relinquish those things to God to address them. Just like a creek bed in a drought can reveal.hidden beauty and ugliness, so revealing our inner self through introspection, acknowledgment, and surrender to God can reveal the same about us.

  2. The drought has reminded me the water belongs to the Creator. I take it for granted and then when it’s not there, I’m reminded I NEED HIM for everything! The water, the sun, the air we breathe, Praise God from Whom all blessings flow. :-)

  3. Isaiah 58 came alive in a new way through the summer drought. If we would weary ourselves in help of the needy that we would be like a well watered garden, like a spring whose water never fails. I have read that a zillion times, it just became more real this year.

  4. Beautiful pic, Darcy. We have been receiving the wet relief lately and what a difference it makes in our attitudes! Just like when we feel there has been too much rain and the sun finally peeks through the clouds. Always a need, always a Provider. In His time.

    • Today we went to the creek for another visit and the waters were receding once again. My son prayed out loud right there in the middle of it. The forecasters on the radio said there would be lots of rain on the east coast, but nothing where we’re at. But surprise, we got a nice hard rain this afternoon!

  5. Beautiful words. Out of the mouth of babes comes lessons of unabashed faith. No wonder Jesus said that the kingdom of heaven belongs to “such as these.”

  6. Pingback: Cherish Your Family: An Interview with Darcy Wiley | Message in a Mason Jar

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