Monday, 10 March 2014

Strange Days

A random horse comes by to chew on the brand new grass.
The area of the world we live in is desert…sheer desert.  If you're not near the Nile, then your view is sand and lots of it.  The weather here is an unmotivated meteorologist's dream.  Sunny every day.  That's your weather report.  Nothing changes except the occasional wind here and there.  Oh, and hot.  

However the last few days have even shaken the locals.  On Thursday night a wedding celebration was taking place at a nearby hotel.  Part of the festivities included a fireworks demonstration.  As I was watching from our home, I saw lightning.  HORIZONTAL lightning.  What in the world is that?!

The wind kicked up and clouds began to gather.  What be this?  There is no rain here.  Okay, there's rain every two years with an accumulation of 2 millimeters, but does that really count?  

Thunder began to rumble and I dared hope that we might indeed see a storm.  Within 15 minutes, a light rain began to fall and within 10 minutes it was all over.  I had witnessed it.  When I have grandchildren I'll be able to tell them, "I was in The Great Storm of 2014…"

When we talked with our friend, Mustafa*, he said that that would be it.  No more or so he thought. The next day clouds continued to hover, more wind and another bit of rain.  He reassured us that truly this was it because they never receive any rain of any consequence.

Yesterday, we were talking with our friends after church and someone said, "It's raining.  Really raining!"  Immediately all of the foreigners took off outside and promptly stood in the rain with our face turned heavenward.  The locals dashed for cover while staring at the now-wet crazy people.

This time the rain formed puddles.  Thunder and lightning continued for maybe an hour.  We couldn't believe it.  On our way home, one of our neighbors said, "The weather has changed so that you will feel at home."  We laughed and told him thank you.

Mustafa came by and said that was the first thunder he had ever heard.  He's in his 30s.  Most people here have outdoor rooms because of the lack of rain.  They are now mopping up their floors and drying out the cushions.

Strange days indeed.  I'm quite grateful for the rain, but I'm also thankful for the physical picture of God's grace.  That when we find ourselves in a dry, desert place of the soul…God sees us and can make it rain even in areas thought to be impossible.  

And now, God, do it again—

    bring rains to our drought-stricken lives
So those who planted their crops in despair
    will shout hurrahs at the harvest,
So those who went off with heavy hearts
    will come home laughing, with armloads of blessing.

Psalm 126:4

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