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MISSION UPDATE: Rainfall of Tears

I was watering the plants scattered around the pond when it happened.

The day had been unusually overcast and rain seemed to be hanging just beyond reach. It's dry season, so the chance of actual rain was slim and unlikely. And yet I prayed again, as I had been for the past week or so, that the rain would come.

The pond is almost our entire source of water. We use it for cleaning, bathing, laundry ... everything except consumption. And it was getting low. On top of the desire to see our water supply not dry up, the pond is a source of recreation for the children. They spend literal hours at its edge, enjoying the various elements of God's creation that He's tucked under the surface.

And also, I didn't want the fish to die.

So I reminded Him each day as I circled the pond praying. I put our need, and my desire, before Him, trusting His answer would be the right one.

As I poured water from my tin watering can on the plants and baby trees we're attempting to nurture, I couldn't help but grin as I felt that breeze pick up. I could hear the wind chimes singing from across the way and it slowly dawned on me that we were about to get rain!

Sure enough, the sky began leaking. Slow at first, and it seemed as though it would pass over quickly without much impact. I whispered again asking God if He wouldn't like to show His power by giving us a good drenching right in the midst of dry season.

I imagine Him smiling back as the rains and winds picked up only a moment later.

I sat in the shelter of the sala (which is a thai-style covered pavilion) and watched the rain pelt the pond. At first I praised God for His kindness but I quickly found myself overwhelmed with a combination of laughter and tears.

Laughter because we imagine God is so disconnected from the lowly cares that make up our existence and tears because He was, once again, proving to me He wasn't.

So I sat watching, laughing, crying, praising, and praying ... you know, like your average crazy person does when it rains. And as I watched, I saw fish in the pond begin leaping out of the water as though intent on not missing the party. It was as if they recognized this rain was giving them an extension on life.

And as that thought hit me, it gave way to another. A person I love dearly has been struggling, grasping at the threads of life that had slowly worn thin. A person who never leaves my mind, my heart, or my prayers. A person I had spent the past week watching God make incredible arrangements for in the unlikeliest of timing ... so much like the rain.

It was almost as if I could hear God saying to me, "I have him. Just as I'm caring for these fish, and they are leaping out of the water to praise me for it, I am caring for this one you love so deeply. Trust that I'm at work and I have a plan. The refreshing is coming."

Seriously, sometimes God sweeps so near that His still small voice seems almost audible. I sat a long time in the quiet of that rainfall enjoying my multiple answers to very specific prayer.

I often wish I had a lens that would bring the future into focus. I wish I knew what was ahead and exactly which paths it would lead us down. I wish I had the map, the key, and the plan. And yet, I'm so grateful I don't.

Because learning to live faith means learning to choose it. It means learning to believe what you can't see, learning to see what you can't believe, and being content to wait on the perfect timing of it all.

This lack of knowing the future is one of the greatest gifts God has endowed us with. It gives us a depth of experience we'd never have if we were only allowed to see with our eyes and not with our hearts.

And that is worth everything!


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