“If your God is so real, why isn’t he providing the rain?”
It was a fair question, asked with more than a little frustration and skepticism.
To be honest, I’ve never had to think much about rainfall – I’ve always had food when I’ve needed it. I don’t know what real hunger feels like. So why would this man, whose physical needs are so different than mine, take my claims about a giving, generous God seriously? I thought, “Who am I to explain to this man that the God I serve is indeed the great Provider, when all he sees in front of him are wilting crops and a lack of food on his table?”
Standing there outside his humble home in Risipeni, Moldova, on the dry land, just feet from the crops he was so desperate to see grow, it dawned on me: despite our many differences, I could boldly proclaim the unrelenting Faithfulness of the Father to him because we have the same exact spiritual need: a Risen Savior.
I told the man I was so sorry that his crops weren’t getting the rain they needed. I don’t know why the rain was so scarce. I wished it wasn’t. But I do know that God provides. I know that He gives freely and generously and sustains us in ways we often don’t expect. I know because I’ve seen His hand faithfully provide in my own life countless times over. I know because His Word promises it.
I asked the man if we could pray for him, and with him, that God would bring the rain. My friend Andy offered an earnest plea to God to bring rain that was needed to grow his crops and put food on his table. We also prayed that God would provide for him in other needed ways, in those deep places of spiritual pain that our friend had made clear were there.
As we left his house, I admit that I felt discouraged. I wanted so badly to be able to offer something tangible to this man – something to prove outright that the Living God had not forgotten him. I asked the Lord to help my own unbelief for how he might provide for my friend.
A few hours later, we’d left the village and were eating dinner, when we heard it: the absolute torrential downpour that started out of seemingly nowhere. I couldn’t believe it. God had mercifully chosen to provide in such a specific and quick way. It continued to downpour through the night, and we woke up to rain the next morning. The rain subsided for enough time for us to have camp the next day, and then, like clockwork, began to downpour again. I believe deeply that a loving Father sent those showers specifically for a despairing man tending dying crops in Risipeni Village.
The God of the Rain provides. He knows exactly what we need and in His infinite, perfect wisdom gives as He sees fit. Even in the driest seasons of our lives, He will be faithful. His promises are true even when there isn’t a raindrop in sight. He can be trusted with our crops, our plans, our very lives. He himself is our Provision.