Singing in the Rain
“His ways are not our ways, his thoughts are not our thoughts.
In September ’07 we started construction on a spec house, something we hadn’t done for at least 10 years. Upon completion in December, we put it on the market, hopeful that the proceeds would allow us to pay off some debt and live in Africa for a period of time.
We didn’t realize that the economy was taking a nosedive, with housing sales coming to a virtual standstill over the course of 2008. Despite the continued prayers of many people, that beautiful house crafted with such high expectations remained empty all through the spring and summer, through the time when we were nearly forced to return home early from Africa-the Lord provided through the sacrificial giving of some of our friends.
When we arrived home as planned in August, we immediately put the house up for rent. Although there was interest, things fell through a number of times, and we returned to Africa in November with it still empty, trusting that we were acting in faith and not foolishness. Finances were tight–towards the end of December, we were not sure how we were going to make it through the month and keep our bank balance in the black. What do you do when you sense God’s direction but it’s not logical?
Dan had a dream about the story of Elijah several weeks ago-when he said, “Go…there is the sound of a heavy rain. Go and look” (I Kings 18:41). The servant had to look seven times before he saw the tiniest of clouds in the sky. Elijah told Ahab, “Hitch up your chariot and go, before the rain stops you.” Then the sky grew black, the wind rose and a heavy rain came down, and Elijah, soaked to the skin, outran Ahab’s chariot.
Dan felt that God was saying, “You better run, because the rains are coming!” He took the rains to mean financial provision, but not limited to that. Here is what happened:
–We just received a $900 kicker-check from IRS after our accountant told us, insisted back in March when we were depending on it to keep us in Africa, that we weren’t getting anything back.
—We have just signed a lease/option agreement for the spec house with a couple who are believers with great references, at a time when building/housing is at an all-time low and the economy is very bleak. I checked email last night – the rental and down payment money would be deposited in our account today!
— We also just heard that friends have given a hefty donation for our personal support.
Run, because the rains are coming! What does it mean to run? Maybe part of it is Dan’s Zambia/Zimbabwe excursion that came into being before we knew the extent of this rain. It sounds like the pace is being stepped up; time to push in. Two times, in my consecutive Bible reading and in a separate devotional book, I read this week about Israelites (the Danites!) scouting out the land. “Arise and go, you will find a spacious land that God has put into your hands” (Judges 18:9,10). This is not about colonialism, but about stepping out, of seeing dreams become reality.
Run, because the rains are coming! We’ve been watching for the rain, for the clouds even (regarding the spec house) for a year now, and suddenly there’s a gathering storm. Jesus, you have so faithfully sustained us in the desert, walked us through the doubting days, and now we just want to stand in gratefulness and let the drops pelt us, wash us, soak our clothes! It’s partly about finances, but there’s really so much more. We long to be immersed in knowing Jesus, in intimate friendship with him-we desire to be swept along in the flow of his work here on earth. So drench us, Lord, we want to run in your rain!