Friday, July 16, 2010
He’s Got The Wind and the Rain In His Hands
After months of preparation and anticipation, I couldn’t believe the weather forecast for the opening day of our Kids Summer Outreach - Vacation Bible School – “Thunderstorms throughout the day – hot and humid with showers continuing throughout the evening.” “Wonderful.” I thought. All the work that had been put towards this very important step up in our church’s outreach efforts, could be put on hold for our opening day or at least significantly weaken our start, most probably putting a damper on the entire week to follow. If that news didn’t take the wind out of our sails, the same forecast was predicted for Thursday, the last day of our outreach too. Great.
Just as my joy started to creep away, I remembered a friend’s response to a similar situation back in Seminary when we faced a potentially disappointing start to a ministry opportunity due to circumstances beyond our control. While several of us moaned and complained and fretted about what we would do next, our friend Henry began to smile. He put his arms around our shoulders and began to sing, “He’s got the wind and the rain in His hands. He’s got the wind and the rain, in His hands. He’s got the wind and the rain, in His hands – He’s got the Whole World in His hands!” The power in that simple children’s song immediately changed our perspectives. We laughed. Prayed and gave the situation to the Lord, knowing He was in control. With that memory in mind, I hummed the tune to myself, prayed and went to sleep knowing worry wouldn’t help, everything was in His hands!
When I woke up the next morning, I was so happy I had trusted the situation to the Lord. At 5:45 AM, sunbeams were already shining through the window and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. When we arrived at the beach for set up and throughout the rest of the day, it seemed as if the weather had been tailor made for us – warm and embracing heat greeted us in the open sun and gentle breezes that felt like brand new, top-of-the-line air-conditioning welcomed us in the shade. The adult volunteers and middle school students who came to serve, came in force and the families who came to participate in our “Son Games” Olympic-themed week, came in strength throughout the entire week! Even as Thursday arrived, with torrential thunderstorms raging throughout the early morning hours, and dark gray clouds menacingly hovering at daybreak, the sun powered through by midmorning and the rains stayed away from our ministry site, though they fell in abundance only a few miles to the south of us! We felt a special sense of God’s grace and provision for our week of ministry in the City of Racine along the beach, letting our lights shine for the Glory of God!
Let me be careful to clarify that we did not control the weather, nor do we expect the weather to always fall “in our favor” when we do outreaches. I also understand that in many professions, the work marches on regardless of what’s happening outside. Nevertheless, when atmospheric conditions have mattered, I have seen some amazing changes in the weather all over the world when the Gospel of Jesus Christ is being shared and God’s people are about God’s business with His agenda and mission as the driving force behind ministry efforts. Our Kids Summer Outreach at North Beach Racine provided a strong testimony to that point. Even when the weather has gone afoul, I’ve seen “Plan B’s” have much more impact and effectiveness than the “Plan A’s” originally undertaken when people cry out to the Lord for help and direction.
The Lord is constantly teaching us lessons and reminding us of basic spiritual truths as we walk the journey of faith. For me, this week was a reminder that no matter how much one plans or how much experience one has, prayer humility and trust in the Lord MUST be an indispensable component of ministry preparation EVERY time one serves. As you plan your activities in the days ahead, and check out the weather report, take some time to consider the One who has the “wind and the rain in His hands” and to contemplate how he might want you to direct your day, whether you bask in the sunshine or fight against gale-force winds. In the words of the timeless 70’s song, “Put your hand in the hand of the Man who stilled the water” and take confidence that he can get you where you need to go whatever weather your day may hold. May the Son shine in your life today, whatever the weather may be! Until next time…