It’s raining as I write this, pattering gently down outside the darkened windows of my parents’ white farmhouse-style home. I’m in their cozy guest room upstairs, the one with quilt-covered bed and fireplace and the little antique desk where I’ve done much writing.
Though I no longer live in this place, it’s been a haven and blessing to come here early most school-day mornings, since Anthony and I leave our home in the dark wee hours to beat traffic and get him on the train to his early job in the city. But my parents live close to my school and graciously welcome me in to rest and work for a couple of hours before it’s time to go teach.
But it’s raining, friends. Raining!
If you live in California, you know what I mean. We’ve been in the severest drought I can remember. Though all our modern conveniences make us feel it less than we might, it’s been a constant undercurrent of anxiety in our state the past few years. Signs everywhere warn of the conditions and tight watering restrictions. Some parkways and landscapes have been let go completely brown. Ominous hints that California might run completely out of water have surfaced—and what would we do then?
Last year, El Niño was supposed to bring relief. But while some precipitation did fall up north, down in the south we still got less than a normal winter. And a few months ago, I read that experts were predicting yet another dry year.
But I think God had a little chuckle. And decided to show that He can do whatever He wants.
It’s been raining multiple days a week for the past few weeks, rain like I can’t remember for many years. Southern Californians are having to learn to drive in the rain again—if we ever really knew—and how to do daily life with this strange phenomenon of water falling from the sky. Some of my students, less aware of the severity of the drought, have complained about the weather. And I know that up north, the rain has caused severe problems and flooding, so I’ve been praying for those people, as well as others for whom the weather is a hardship, like our local homeless community.
But mostly, I’ve just been thankful.
Because rain is something that reminds me how little we really can control. Despite all the wonders of modern technology, the most we can do about weather is try to predict it a few days in advance. And as this winter has shown, sometimes we can’t even do that.
Drought and rainfall remind me we really are in the Lord’s hands. And He has sent us rain…even if I kind of agree with a comment our principal made, that she doesn’t feel like we deserve it. But, she continued, “God is gracious.”
“…He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous…” ~Matthew 5:45
With all the turmoil and division that’s rocked our country lately, I don’t feel much like we deserve this mercy either. But when do we ever?
When do I ever?
Lately I’ve been humbled and surrounded with reminders of His undeserved grace toward me…in the rain, falling and filling the canyons and bringing startlingly lush growth and wildflowers to roadsides. In my marriage, as Anthony and I continue to grow in grace for each other, learning to let go and forbear and laugh and love, and accept each other for who we are, foibles and flaws and all. In the Lord’s help to finish another novel manuscript, though it still needs work.
And in the astonishing fact that gripped my heart anew a couple of weeks ago, that God…whom so many wonder whether He really exists, the Being all religions search for but often fail to find…has actually shown us He exists, shown us who He is, by entering our world in touchable, knowable, living flesh.
“And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth…No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.” ~John 1:14, 18
This song I remember from church as a teenage girl in New Mexico has been running through my mind a lot lately. I hope it blesses you too.
How has He been reminding you of His mercy in this new year? Please comment and share!
Note: If you followed our Journey to Bethlehem this Christmas season, I wanted to let you know that, with the busyness of the holidays for everyone, we actually didn’t get enough participation for the giveaway to work. However, I plan to host Sandra and Marilyn in the upcoming months, and we will be doing giveaways of their wonderful books then, so stay tuned! 🙂