For several years I had the privilege of living in a place called Smith Mountain Lake. It was a region with incredible natural beauty that was overwhelmingly present almost everywhere you looked. In the few years I lived in and around this area I have never grown tired of the breathtaking views of the mountains or the tranquility of driving across Hales Ford Bridge just above the lapping waves of the lake, just to name a few of the natural wonders that regularly captured my attention.
In all my time there though one of the things that had not caught my attention was rain. It wasn’t until a recent rainy spell here in Ohio that I saw rain in a whole new light. I’ve got to be completely honest with you rain has never been much more than a necessary nuisance for me. I’ve been thankful for it when it comes and breaks a time of drought, but I had never found myself mesmerized by the wonder of rain, until last week that is. I realize we are in the middle of what could be considered a mild or maybe even a moderate drought right now and the inch and a half or so of rain we got last week was much needed, even though it washed out one of my freshly mulched flower beds, but that was not what changed my attitude about rain. What completely changed my perspective about rain from a necessary nuisance to one of the great and unsearchable wonders of our Creator God was a verse I read in Scripture from the book of Job in which Job, citing the great, unsearchable and marvelous things God does, puts rain at the top of the list. Upon realizing that Job had an entirely different outlook on rain than I, I decided to check out some facts about rain to see if Job was just a bunch of hype. What I found confirmed my need for a change of heart.
Anyone who has ever carried a bucket of water any distance knows that it is heavy. One gallon of water weighs a little more than eight pounds. Imagine for a minute if you were a farmer and had to carry all the water to nourish your crops by hand. To water just one acre of crops with just one inch of water you would have to carry roughly one ton of water, or a little more than 27,000 buckets from the nearest water source to your crops. That is a serious day’s work that would leave us earnestly considering our desire to plant crops. A luxury that folks back in Job’s era didn’t enjoy. If they wanted to eat, they had to plant crops, and if they wanted those crops to grow it had to rain. It was next to impossible for them to irrigate their crops without the help of rain. But rain takes this insurmountable task and makes it look simple. Water, that is heavy mind you, is transported in the sky of all places not by hot air balloons or suspended buckets but by clouds which are really just one ton clusters of evaporated water being gently pushed through the sky by the wind. These one ton clusters then conveniently drift over our crops and rather than just dumping one ton of water in one place making a huge crater and decimating everything in it’s circumference, tiny droplets of water weighing just enough to fall to the ground without evaporating and small enough to not crush the crops condense around dust particles and drop to the ground providing nourishment for the earth. And that is just a laymen’s explanation of the process through which rain passes. I haven’t even touched on the removal of salt from the water during this process which protects the crops, the role of electricity in the process to cause the water particles to gather around the dust, or a myriad of other elements of which I’m sure I’m not even aware.
So the next time you see a cloud role over your head or the skies open up and grace us with a few inches of the wet stuff, remember that mountains and lakes aren’t the only thing in God’s creation for which we should stand in awe of our Creator God. And like Job maybe we can proclaim the great, unsearchable and marvelous things God does in our midst as He brings forth the miracle of rain. I know I will never look at a sprinkle the same.