Be careful what you pray for

snowy churchThis last summer, Joel Boot, the interim executive director of the Christian Reformed Church, asked us all to pray for rain. And many of us did. I too have been praying. And sometimes “no” is an answer.

As the harvest happened, as people heard from the insurance companies on what was covered and not by drought insurance, I continued to pray for rain for our dry and weary land. It has been dry. Cracks appeared in the ground. Big, dry, opened cracks. We even had a dust storm one day. The high heat temperatures baked us while the hot dry winds fried up the corn. It wasn’t pretty.

And we continued to pray for rain. I turned my prayers to prayers of provision. Praying that God provide for us. That God sustain us during this time. I prayed that God let us trust in Him for all our needs, including rain.

People asked: What is God trying to teach us? Did we do something wrong to not receive the much needed rain? People were wondering. People were hurting. We needed rain. We needed moisture for our dry and weary land.

Now, I can get all theological about things. I can talk about the direct verses permissive will of God. I can talk about how sin has distorted this world and made drought possible. I can talk about how in Genesis it says that the land will rebel against us. But I didn’t. I continued to pray for moisture.

As planting season is coming upon us, we’ve been praying for moisture even more. We’ve had some snow, but not enough. And so we continue to pray for moisture.

As I am writing this, with the clickity clacks of the keyboard in the silence of my office, it is snowing outside. I mean really snowing. 10 inches or more expected. In April no less. My kids have had two snow days in a row. My wife asked me next time I pray from the pulpit for moisture, be more specific.

So, I’m being careful of what I pray for now. I think I’ll pray for rain this time around instead of just moisture.

God is good, and he does provide when we need as we need it. His grace is sufficient for us. Let us remember this today. But next time, I’ll be more specific when I pray.

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