Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Misunderstood downpour {or how rain saved a party}

A dead car battery. I can postpone a trip to the grocery store or library. But this trip is special... a little girl valentine's day party. And we're buckled into car seats, boots and coats on, ready to go.

Big one bursts into tears when I tell them the car is dead. 'C-c-can't you find some battery juice, Mommy?'

Now I'm desperate. Scanning my contacts - Monday morning, everyone's at work.

Scanning the street, up and down for anyone with a car in the driveway. I knock on a neighbor's door, not a complete stranger, thank goodness, but a retired missionary couple. He looks puzzled to see a panicky, soaked momma on his doorstep. Please, can we have some battery juice?

A jump later, and we're back on track for the party. The girls shout their thanks to our neighbor. He smiles and says, 'That's what neighbors are for.' Then adds, 'Ya know, we were supposed to move into our new house last week, but with all this rain, they couldn't pour the driveway yet.' He wisely winds up his jumper cables and climbs back into his van. Smiles again and waves.

And I thank the Lord for the rain that has turned our yard into a swamp and held up a build site. For a neighbor who wouldn't mind saving the day for two very disappointed little girls {and one disappointed momma}. For a large grace on a small day. He sees the little stuff.

As I thank Him for the rain, I remember my own bitter heart toward that rain which fell as I was planning our spring garden. The rising puddles still present five days later irk me, especially the ones over last years' garden plot. I recall how beautiful my plants looked covered with tiny white flowers, only to drown the next day in a summer rain storm. Raised beds for tomatoes and eggplants, pots for root veggies, and I'm griping. Griping the drainage and the cost of good dirt and the general inconvenience in a Spring full of projects.

Now I sit, engine running, watching more large unrequested rain drops plink against the windshield. What if these drops fell, each one divinely directed, so we could go to this party? What if Mr. Don's house was held up, so he would be here to save the day? What if I've been grumbling all week against the blessing God was about to give?

Our family reading is in the wandering years of Israel. Each time they gripe about water, complain about manna, threaten to return to Egypt, slavery was better than God, DH and I shake our heads. How could they believe that? How could they grumble against a God making food fall from the sky every morning? This morning, I understand.

God didn't give me what I expected, what I understood, and I didn't trust.

And His grace abounds all the more - grace to forgive my untrusting heart and peace to believe him next time more misunderstood blessing falls from the clouds.

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