It has been so dry here in southern Oklahoma this summer. The grass is scorched and most of the lovely blooms from the spring have faded from the summer heat. The poor ground has cracks in it large enough to lose a small child in if you aren’t careful. Seriously, I thought about watering the yard the other day and figured it would be a lost cause since I would only be watering the deepest depths of the earth if I did. You could probably look far enough down the gaping crevices and see liquid hot magma from the earth’s core just swirling around down there.
I was so excited to see the little front come in yesterday evening to give us a little relief from the heat and a little rain to sustain what is still alive. I know many people who have been praying for this dry land, and I am always thankful to see the proof that God hears those cries.
This morning I woke up and the air was unusually cool for a late July morning. It even smelled like fall. I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. I made a small pot of tea and sat on the back porch to read and take in this incredible blessing. I wasn’t out there for very long before, what I thought was the perfect morning, started to get even better. I saw the clouds rolling in closer and the breeze pick up a bit. Soon the gentlest rain began to fall all around me. I wanted to cry with gratitude to the Father for again proving His faithfulness.
I tucked myself under the eve of the house and just looked out at all of the creation that surrounded me. My sun scorched Zinnias leapt with every drop while the Marigolds stood firm to take in every single morsel of water. There were birds perched quietly in the trees in front of me, resting no doubt, before they burst with joy in the puddles they will soon be bathing in. I started thinking to myself that if it wasn’t for these beautiful creatures and the knowledge that God will provide for them (Matthew 6:25-34), mankind’s lack of humbleness and unwillingness to acknowledge God’s authority, would assuredly cause the Father to dry up the earth to nothing more than a hill of dust. I know for a fact that I would not be void of any blame for the desiccation of the world if it were to ever happen. I have found myself all too often turning my heart to things of the flesh and ignoring the presence of my Creator.
I sat there quietly, with my eyes closed, seeking forgiveness for my callousness and praying for help to keep myself occupied with the things of the Father and to not fumble around distracted every time the wind blows in something new and shiny into view.
After I was done, I opened up my eyes and sat back in my chair to take all the beauty around me in again. I don’t think I have ever seen such a pleasant rain. I propped my feet up on a chair just out of the cover of the roof above me. The rain drops tickled my bare feet. I watched each drop pool together and spill over the slope of the top of my foot. I started thinking about the Scriptures that tell about Jesus washing His disciples’ feet (John 13:1-17). What a beautiful lesson He taught them! Oh how I desire to be like Jesus, to draw nearer to Him each and every day. I want to love like that! I want to serve like that, with sincere humbleness, serving out of complete love instead of through obligation! You know, you can’t be distracted if your actions are motivated by His love!
I began to cry again. I asked the LORD if this was the meaning of all the changes that have been made in the last few months? If the desire He placed on my heart to come home to serve my family years ago, were for this purpose? Was this service to the ones I love meant to draw me nearer to Him and to shut out the distractions I placed between us? Oh how I am always like Jonah, running away or delaying obedience! If I had known the blessings that would come from this labor, I would have never hesitated and just said, “Yes, here I am LORD!”
I didn’t know that coming home would quiet my heart and bring into focus the true treasures that surround me. I know there is joy on this earth, but it’s only felt outside of the chaos I have allowed the focus of my time.
I have changed, and I’m grateful for the refinement. I’m thankful the Father is teaching me how to keep my focus on Him and I’m so thankful for this rain that took me on a whirlwind of emotions today. I pray my heart keeps every detail of all of the lessons I am learning, and that I continue to learn how to mimic the actions of my Savior with each and every breath I have left in this life.