The rain we have been waiting for, praying for, hoping for finally arrived yesterday. We were blessed with between 2 and 4 inches of rain, depending on whose rain guage you ask about. The rain was wide spread and lasted all morning and into early afternoon. The rain formed puddles here and there where we have not seen them in many months.
People came to church yesterday with big smiles on their faces. The rain was the main topic of conversation as we gathered. We included it in the announcement time and in prayer time, offering a prayer of thanksgiving for it. Perhaps we all needed to express our feelings of joy in community. Maybe we needed to say what we were feeling to know that others were happy too.
There is an old saying that farmers must have made up long ago--"You don't miss the milk until the cow goes dry." It is quaint and perhaps funny but it makes some sense too. We as humans tend to think that everything will rock along as it always has through all the years and it is only when something is missing that we realize our dependence on what we no longer have.
We all know that we need rain. We need it for many reasons because we use water so much in our daily lives. We need water in order to work and live and enjoy our surroundings. Water is life, as it has been said, and life is dependent on there being clean water when we need it. When it is in short supply and restrictions on water usage are enacted, we begin to feel desparate. When water begins to fall from the sky, then we feel relief and hope. Maybe things will be okay, after all.
This rainfall will keep us happy for a short while but soon we will be saying we need rain again. I suppose that is true. We need rain to fall on a regular basis to replenish what we use, to water our crops, and feed our cattle. We need rain to make our lawns green and to make our plants grow in our yards. We need rain to fall often and in just the right amounts so that we can know that God still cares for us as God's caretakers of the earth. Perhaps expressing those feelings to God now and then is a positive way of expressing trust in the God who does love and care for humankind more than we can ever know.