It’s been an excruciatingly long, very hot summer. We have had an unusually dry season with almost no rain for more than 3 months. I have spent much of it driving around in a car with broken air conditioning in scorching 90 to 110+ degree temperatures. I have sat in rush hour traffic with open windows begging mentally for a breeze that would cool me off, even feeling a little sick at times. It has seemed almost unbearable.
Over the course of the last six weeks, I have watched the wild grasses dry up and turn yellow. The leaves on the trees look withered and parched and the dust from construction sites and fields would blow over everything. Smoke from nearby wildfires would smother the sun and I began to imagine that this is what hell would feel like. As clouds and winds would blow through, I would get my hopes up that it would rain, but Mother Nature seemed to mock us with a sprinkle that just turned the dust to splotchy drops and then blow away again.
As I have thought about it, I couldn’t help comparing it to those times that we endure, what seem to be, never-ending hardship. We struggle through fiery, painful trials that seem to weary us to the core. Like the dry storms that blow through, we get our hopes up only to find out they are empty promises. It does seem, at times, as if the rain will never come to quench our parched lives.
But tonight…the rains came. I cheered as I watched the black clouds roll in at sunset and thrilled to my toes as I watched the lightning flash in the distance. Now I’m sitting next to the open window, listening to the rain pour down washing away the dust and dirt. I can feel the cool breeze blow gently across me and the scent of fresh rain is enticing and delicious. I am listening to my quiet music and feeling completely at peace. A little smile hovers around my lips as I listen to the last of the drops fade away.
Just when we think we can’t bear it a moment longer, the relief finally comes. An all-wise Father seems to know exactly how long we can bear something and then He steps in and mercifully tends to our scorched lives. We just have to learn to trust that there will be an end to the Refiner’s fire. And like the rains that end a long drought, the gentle peace that comes at the end of a long trial is so much the sweeter, because we appreciate every drop.