Mornings have become a gift to me. I’m not sure when that started, because I would not have always said that. I still love a good sleep-in; there really is nothing like those rare times of lying in bed, knowing that I don’t have to get up for anything.
This Saturday morning, I woke up later than my alarm would have normally gone off and headed out for a quick run before Darryl had to leave for his faculty meeting at the university. The clouds were darker than usual and the air smelled like rain. I love that smell – clean, pure, new is what I automatically think of when I smell rain. The “before the rain actually comes” smell seems to bring out other smells more distinctively, too. As I ran, I could smell the pine trees (I love that smell, too!), I could smell those yellow Black-eyed Susans as I ran past a particular corner, I could smell a camp fire that told me some neighbours had been outside the night before – rain heightens my senses and makes me aware of nature around me.
After having an incredibly dry summer, the rain also made me so thankful. Our street is like an obstacle course. You could do some serious damage to your vehicle if you don’t go slowly enough or know exactly which parts of the street to avoid. Our street is meant to be flat, but there are some major hills and sections of buckled asphalt sticking up out of the street. Many of us are experiencing our houses shifting in new ways. Many of us have a few new cracks in our home or a door (or two) that doesn’t want to close properly. I’m not going to lie, I have cried a few times over the frustration of our home and I love our home.
The crazy part is, as much as I knew that the summer was dry, I wasn’t really cluing in to the fact that we are in the middle of a drought (such a city girl, eh?). We live in a time in which we do not starve or have to change our diet just because of the weather. Maybe, if we think about it, we will notice some price increases, but life continues.
In most other places of the world, that is not the case. Drought means starvation, it means a lifestyle change, sometimes a major one; it means a shortage that affects people’s standard of living. I’m quite sure our local farmers have been affected by the shortage of rain (am I praying for them?), but if one doesn’t have a garden or field, they might just notice (and enjoy!) the lack of mosquitos this year, instead of pondering the deeper implications of the weather. It came to me that I don’t want to be oblivious to what people are going through during an extremely dry season – in life or in faith. I also don’t want to place my “cracks” or my “street obstacle course” on the same plane as starvation. I don’t want to deny or ignore what I’m feeling and going through – but thinking this way helps me keep things in perspective!
Darryl texted me an amazing verse as I was struggling through this drought period:
“But blessed are those who trust in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8.
I want to be planted by the stream that offers everlasting life, no matter what situation I’m in. I want to plan for drought years in my life so that, even then, my roots will pull water from the stream. I want to bear fruit for me and those around me, and then remember to praise God when the long-awaited rain comes.