It’s a rainy day here in Houston. I’m something of a critic of Texas, especially the Houston area. It’s not where I would have chosen to live. In fact, it’s a city I would have put pretty high on a short list of places I specifically would not want to live. But this is where we are. And I’m learning to like it. The people are great, but it has taken a while for us to really find a community here. And Houston is a sprawling city. It’s not pretty. It’s flat. It’s almost always hot. And oh, how I miss the seasons and the accompanying change of scenery.
On a rainy day, though, I can appreciate Texas. Instead of moping and complaining when it’s dreary outside, people are raising their hands in praise to God for the rain, grateful for the water that gives life to dry and barren lands.
Texans know what it means to suffer from periods of drought. We moved to Texas in the middle of a long heat wave two years ago. I think something like 29 of 30 days had seen temperatures over 100 degrees. It hadn’t rained in a long time, and no small amount of rain would be able to refill the dried up lakes and ponds or nourish the soil.
Toward the end of summer, wildfires ripped through the areas north and west of Houston. We were in College Station then, and women in my Bible study talked about how it looked like it was snowing on their land because the ash was falling so thick. Cows were being sent to slaughter early because there was no hay for them to eat. The grass was all but gone from the landscape and they were starving. I took a drive with DH’s grandparents to visit their first great-grandchild and we drove through burned out forests, blackened, looking like a set for a horror movie. I wish I had a picture.
And when it rained? People were praising and whooping and hollering in joy. It was a sight to see.
Gradually the lakes refilled, though most have not yet returned to their predrought levels. And on a rainy day people appreciate that sometimes it takes a good hard rain to make things right.
And it’s a good reminder. When it rains, I appreciate Texas a little bit more. And I remember that we need rain to get us out of a drought.
The rain makes mud and slows traffic and leaves streaks on freshly washed cars. It sometimes knocks out power or breaks off tree branches. It makes a mess.
But it’s a good mess. A mess that leads to growing. A mess that brings new life. A mess that helps us appreciate the sunshine.
Can I praise God for the storm I’m in now because I know that it will lead to something better? Can I thank him for the absolute mess because I trust that it will bring something new and right and wonderful?
Somehow it’s easier on a rainy day to lift my hands in praise.