At the Saturday evening service of the annual summer revival at the 118-year-old Pearl Church of Christ, west of Gatesville in Coryell County, the traditional homemade ice cream fellowship was being enjoyed by everyone. Gordon Locke of Troy, a regular supporter of the church’s summer effort, loudly announced to all, “After the service in the morning, I am going to take my plate of fried chicken and go out into the church yard and eat it in the rain.”
Another man in the group said, “I’m going with you.” I think a lot of people were thinking along those lines.
When the Sunday morning service was over, we moved to the fellowship hall for the traditional fried chicken dinner. Sure enough, it began to rain. Folks quickly reminded Gordon of his announcement of the night before, to see if he really meant what he had said. Gordon loaded his plate and headed for the parking area. He did what he said he was going to do, but he did not stay out there long.
The unusual, gentle July rain began to fall and expressions of thankfulness and joy filled the room. It was fun to drive home in the much-needed gift from heaven. We were involved in a gathering Sunday evening in Belton, and the atmosphere among the large crowd was one of enthusiastic gratitude for the rain that was still falling.
As I am writing this, my electronic rain gauge has recorded 3.48 inches, and the weatherman says it is not over yet. As our dry land is being soaked, let us all thank Almighty God as we enjoy the far-reaching benefits He is graciously bestowing.
There is something absolutely wonderful about the sound of a gentle rain coming to a dry land. I am reminded of an incident in the Bible found in 1 Kings 17 and 18. The prophet Elijah went to King Ahab and delivered this message: “As the Lord, the God of Israel lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.” Chapter 18 opens with these words, “After a long time, in the third year, the word of the Lord came to Elijah: “Go and present yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the land.” The chapter continues with Elijah’s famous triumph over the prophets of Baal at Mount Carmel. Afterward Elijah told Ahab that rain was on the way. “Elijah climbed to the top of Carmel, bent down to the ground and put his face between his knees.”
He told his servant to go and look toward the sea. The servant reported that there was nothing there. Elijah sent the servant back seven times. “The seventh time the servant reported, ‘A cloud as small as a man’s hand is rising from the sea.’
“Elijah said, ‘Go and tell Ahab, ‘Hitch up your chariot and go down before the rain stops you.’” The sound of abundant rain that Elijah heard earlier became a reality.
Isaiah explains in Chapter 55, “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is My word, that goes out from My mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire.”
A famine of food or a thirst for water is bad, but worse is a famine of hearing the words of the Lord (Amos 8:11). Think about that!
“I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing.” –Ez. 34:26