The rain that was forecast for Friday night did not show up until Saturday morning. When I first woke up, I looked out from our second-floor bedroom window at the black, flat roof over the mudroom. Dry as could be. A little later I checked again: just the pinpoint polka dot pattern of a sprinkle. When I walked out yet later to feed the horses, there was just a gentle shower, barely more than a sprinkle. But something happened inside me, something wonderful, something powerful. I believed that we would have a good rain.
“All day long, Lord, all day long,” I thought in full reverence, “Thank you for the wonderful rain that you have sent to us.”
This was not a parody of optimism, an expression that hoped the heart would actually believe what was being said. This was a gift of faith, a genuine believing that what was hoped for would be received. It was not a contrivance, an effort to persuade others; it was a confidence not based on predictions.
The prediction was for between a tenth and a quarter of an inch. Possibly up to half-an-inch if the rain continued Saturday night. By the time the rain ended Sunday morning we had nearly an inch-and-three-quarters. Good, slow, soaking rain.
The first thing we did Sunday morning at our worship service, before any announcements, before any preliminaries, was stand and give thanks to God for the first good, ground-soaking rain we’ve had in about nine months. He sends his rain upon the just and the unjust, his sun upon the righteous and the wicked. One of the differences between the groups is gratitude.
And that goes for more than rain, as well.