It’s raining, it’s pouring the old man is snoring. Yes, really. I woke this morning to my husband Jerry snoring, and the rain pitter-pattering on my window. What a glorious day to be alive.
I love rain. For me it is God’s way of telling me to slow down, to sit back and listen. Have you ever heard the rain talking to you? Of course you have. All kinds of things run through my head as the rain bounces off the tin roof of my camper. Or, when it blows sideways and tings off the windows of my house. Rain has a language all of it’s own.
When I was a little girl nothing made me happier than to go out and play in the rain. Now as an older lady I must admit I like to listen, and watch the rain from the comforts of inside. I can almost feel the rain on my skin as I think back to my childhood. Cool, wet, sometimes stinging when it came down really fast. Precious memories.
For me rain is a gift. But then there are days like today when it has been pouring for hours and I begin to wonder about flooding. Having grown up near the Big Elkin Creek, I’ve seen it out of its banks many times. I’ve also watched the New River creep up until finally it swallows the riverbank, and oozes out, wider, and wider onto the land.
In my new novel, The River Keeper, by the way this title is not set in stone. I’ve had two other titles popping into my head. Which one do you like? The River Keeper, Children of the River, or The River Children? Please let me know.
Anyway, in the book, my main character, a little girl named Callie is left alone after her family is swept away by a terrible ice damn break on the New River. She goes to live with her grandma, a lady she barely knows. Callie loves her Granny Jane, but she didn’t know she’d ever have to love her enough to live with her. In the story, the river and her missing family haunt Callie. But, she never blames the river.
Callie says, “I don’t know why people hate the river for flooding? Don’t reckon’ it’s the rivers fault. The rain and them frozen chunks of ice is what’s done made this river so raging mad.”
You know, Callie’s right. A river just rolls along peaceful as can be. Then one day the rain starts pouring and before the poor river knows it, it is out of its banks consuming everything it comes in contact with. Life is sort of like that. One day we are coasting along, not a bother in the world. The sun is shining. The birds are singing their song of joy. Then all of a sudden we get a bad report from a medical test, or hear of a loved one who is ill. Or maybe a terrible accident has claimed the life of a child.
In life there are no guarantees. Never once in all the pages of God’s Word does He tell us that living on this earth will be great all the time. I suppose I am kind of sad today. A schoolmate told me yesterday that Hospice told him he has from three to six weeks to live. Then I have a close friend whose sister is deathly ill. Plus, another friend is battling a mental issue that could be fatal, while yet another friend is trying to raise her nine-month-old grandson. Then, there is my dear friend that is plagued with the rigors of MS everyday.
Are these burdens that we feel for others like the rain, a gift or a curse? To be honest, for me they are a little of both. My heart aches for hurting people. Their misery sometimes creeps out of the confines of my being and floods my soul with sorrow. Most of the time I feel so helpless. Don’t you know Noah felt this way too? As God closed the door to the ark and all of mankind was shut out, don’t you wonder if Noah felt helpless? Don’t you think he felt sorry for those who were not allowed to enter the ark?
In this sad world of unbelievers I can only say to you: I am not a very righteous person like Noah was. I am just a pitiful sinner, washed in the blood of Christ. Saved by Grace. I will never live up to the standards of Jesus, but while I try, I’ll be praying for God’s mercy to wrap all of my friends and family up in His arms of comfort. To heal the ones that is in His will to heal, and to hold the others in His loving arms of peace and comfort.
On this side of Heaven we’ll never know how powerful our prayers are. Just like the mighty river cannot contain all the rain that sometimes pours into its banks, I too am filled. Prayers for the sick, suffering, and un-saved flow from me. No matter what we endure on this earth, the most important thing to be concerned about is at the end of your life will the door be slammed in your face? Or, will you be welcomed into eternity?
Genesis 7:1, 16
And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.
And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the Lord shut him in.