Rain is falling today in Minnesota. Usually that would be a source of complaint for me. The grey skies and cold rain makes my outdoor runs more challenging. Yet there is a nostalgic quality to rain; I grew up in western Washington where grey clouds and drizzle were a steady part of winter and spring. Delivering newspapers in the rain was a challenge as I pedaled the five-mile route through deep puddles and muddy roads. Now I realize that my paper route built the base and character for long-distance running, even through the rain.
Today’s rain is also a blessing for the farmers of Minnesota. Though too much rain can be a problem, the current soil moisture is below average. The soil needs water in order to yield crops this summer and fall.
Being the pastor of a suburban church bordered by cornfields, I have grown in awareness how much weather affects the daily life of farmers. Forty years ago, Woodbury was nearly all farms, but they are steadily being turned into housing subdivisions, parks, office buildings and churches. Larry Fredin, a member and farmer, keeps me updated on the weekly activities of local farms and weather. Today’s rain is good.
Part of my Lenten discipline has been reading Luther Seminary daily on-line devotional, called God-Pause. Today’s devotional (3/12/2012) by Diane Jacobson centered on water for a thirsty land from Isaiah 44:3
For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my spirit upon your descendants, and my blessing on your offspring.
Professor Jacobson wrote, “In today’s passage, God’s covenant promise goes beyond our expectations. God’s promise of pouring out real water on a thirsty land is parallel to the divine Spirit being poured out on the people. Water and Spirit are both instruments of blessing. Baptismal promises echo throughout the land and the voices of nature and humanity join in praise to God.”
The weather forecast for tomorrow is sunny and possibly 70 degrees. I know I will enjoy that when I go for my run. But today’s rain is still a blessing. Thanks be to God.
Oh Lord, send your healing and life-giving rains to all the dry land.