Ah, the rain
Faith & Inspiration
by Andrée Seu Peterson
Posted on Friday, June 5, 2015, at 9:29 am
It finally rained. Here it is planting season, and we hadn’t seen a drop in so long that even unbelievers were praying.
For weeks I had kept the lid closed on the big blue recyclables container, thinking the sky would let loose “any day now”—I didn’t want to have to empty out the standing water before setting it at the curb Monday morning—though the closed lid policy meant climbing down the steps and walking around to the side of the house every time I discarded cans and bottles, rather than just a toss from the front porch into the yawning maw. Finally, I gave up on precipitation and opened the hatch, and sure enough, on Sunday it started to rain. Now I’m not superstitious, and I know post hoc ergo propter hoc is a logical fallacy, but those are the facts.
Droughts make religious people of the profane: foxhole praying, they call it. If it weren’t for foxhole praying, some people would have no kind of praying at all. If it weren’t for droughts, few would appreciate regular showers. Regularity of God’s care for our planet should be sufficient to evoke exclamations of praise, but evidently it is not. What’s an Almighty God to do?
I see what He does. God, in His wisdom, practices an ingenious combination of regularity and irregularity. Some decrees—day and night, summer and winter—are regular enough to set your watches by them. (In fact, that’s what we do.) Nor should this undeviating pattern (Joshua’s long day the only known exception) be thought of as an automatic mechanical setting but the faithfulness of God to Noah:
“I will never again curse the ground because of man. … While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease” (Genesis 8:21-22, ESV).
But mixed in with this unerring regularity—and precisely because regularity tends to be invisible and taken for granted—is the quirky irregularity of our inconvenient weather patterns. California has a drought and Texas too much water. California dreaming is for water, and the Panhandle pines for sun to lap theirs up. Three weeks ago in Pennsylvania you could find no one waxing lyrical about the beauty of an afternoon shower. Creative deprivation was necessary to make us see what we always had.
Every bit of it exudes love for us: the regular things to make life possible and beautiful and the irregular annoyances to turn our faces upward and remind us of the One from whom all good things come.
Andrée Seu Peterson
Andrée is a senior writer for WORLD Magazine. Her commentary has been compiled into three books including Won't Let You Go Unless You Bless Me. Andrée resides in Philadelphia, Penn.