Category Archives: Sovereignty of God

Praying for rain in the midst of drought

We’ve lived in Northern California for 5 years now. When we moved here from the Midwest, the area had record rainfall, flooding, even the threat of a dam breaking. Two years later, in February, we woke to a “50-year snow,” 2 feet of it.

That came a year after we evacuated during the Carr Fire, which missed our neighborhood by a mile but destroyed hundreds of buildings and killed several.

And now we are in a drought. Welcome to the Western US! The “plenty” that rained in one or two years caused abundant grasses to grow, which became fuel for fires in the dry summers.

We’ve been faithfully praying for rain to quench the land, fill the lakes, reservoirs, and rivers. Rain and snow fell aplenty in December. And no more, thus far. Halfway into February, we haven’t seen any more.

Here’s the irony. Spring has come here, in early February. From our city we can see Mount Shasta, looming hugely to the north, covered in beautiful white. And here, our trees are in full bloom.

Bulbs are blooming, fruit trees covered in blossoms. Birds sing their praises in rapidly greening trees. And we can eat outdoors because it’s in the 70s every day!

But I’ve been so dismayed at the lack of rain, praying faithfully for rain but not wanting to look too closely at the flowers, or note the birdsong as harbingers of spring.

I’ve been so focused on imploring God for rain, that I’ve neglected to rejoice at the spring.

Here’s the thing: It’s not that God doesn’t care about what I care about. It’s that His perspective—His view—is immense—and eternal—and mine is so very narrow. Is He able, at this very moment, to bring rain? Of course. Am I okay with rain not coming at the end of each of my prayers? I have to be.

Did I pray the wrong prayer? Sometimes I worry too much about the right words to say, the right prayer to pray, when I should be concerning myself with submitting to the God who created the universe and is so capable of producing rain and snow to water the ground. He’ll cause the rain to fall in His own perfect time and not mine.

Romans chapter 11, verses 33-36 contains a doxology, which is a hymn of praise to God. The words remind me that God’s ways are superior to mine, in my finite mind and imagination.

Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
    How unsearchable his judgments,
    and his paths beyond tracing out!
Who has known the mind of the Lord?
    Or who has been his counselor?
Who has ever given to God,
    that God should repay them?
For from him and through him and for him are all things.
    To him be the glory forever! Amen.

I’m going to keep on praying for rain, because we’re told to pray. And I’m leaving the results up to God, because He is absolutely sovereign over all, and I’m not. He knows when is the right time for rain and snow, for heat and thunder. I need to trust Him.

And I have to be okay with that.

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