Planning an outdoor party when it was the beginning of rainy season probably wasn’t the smartest idea but having it outside was the best way to achieve the theme my friend and I had envisioned. We team worked to come up with a carnival theme for our kids who were both turned 2. Different booths were to be set up in the yard for the kids to play games. It just wouldn’t have been the same if we had to move everything indoors.
It may sound like unimportant to the God of the universe to care about a Carnival Party. But here is how amazingly personal God is…
It had been raining the week before the party. Every afternoon, without fail, it would rain. In fact, I probably checked the weather forecast daily for that entire week and it always said, “rainy” for Saturday. So we kept praying and trusting that the Lord would keep the weather perfect for us. Well, on Thursday and Friday it rained a lot! And if that was any indication of Saturday’s weather, I was already thinking of plan B and C.
At first, I could not relax because I didn’t know where I was going to set up all the games. Indoors? Outdoors? What to do, what to do? Would it be faithless of me to transfer the games indoors? (When I don’t know exactly what I am supposed to do it can drive me nuts.) My husband, Edric, on the other hand, was strangely calm. He told me to decide the morning of Saturday. So the night before, I just prayed again and slept soundly.
I woke up at 6 am on Saturday, looked up at the sky, and saw clouds. Shucks, I thought. Is it going to rain, Lord? At the same time, I had this strong sense that God was going to come through.
My kids were out there with me ready to help out. When we looked up at the sky again, there was a beautiful rainbow on top of us. A rainbow! The boys were thrilled. “It’s a promise!” they said. “It is a promise from God that it is not going to rain! Yeah!” They were already doing the dance of joy.
Oh my, I thought. Lord for the sake of their tender faiths can you please NOT let it rain! Seeing the rainbow did give me confidence so I started putting up all the game booths. I asked God to help me to believe.
By 8 am,however, a drizzle came. “Is this a broken promise?” one of my sons asked. “No, we just have to pray” was my response.
This same son saw me taking all the stuff into the house from outside and he said, “Where is your faith, mom?” Oops…He was right! Where was my faith? I was trying to stay in control and I wasn’t trusting that God COULD make the rain stop.
God let it rain for a little bit then sent out the sun — bright and shining. By midday, it was hot! And by 3:00 pm, when the party started, God sent clouds (with no rain) to make the outdoors comfortable. It didn’t rain the rest of the day.
The kids had a blast playing the games and the adults sat peacefully inside, eating. Everything worked out as I hoped and prayed it would. But my greatest joy was knowing that God had answered our prayer with a yes. He didn’t have to. He wasn’t obligated to. And even if he had let it rain, I would have still believed that he had a better plan. But he kept the weather perfect.
In the Philippines, at the beginning of monsoon season, this was my little miracle of God’s love. My children’s faiths were strengthened as we reflected on God’s goodness as a family.
What is fair weather for a party in the grand scheme of eternity? Nothing really. But it was a sweet reminder that God cares about the little things that matter to us.
When I was much younger, I read a beautiful passage in Psalm…
You have taken account of my wanderings;
Put my tears in Your bottle.
Are they not in Your book? Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call;
This I know, that God is for me. (Psalm 56:8, 9 NASB)
When I read this passage years ago, I held on to the image of a God who “puts our every tear in a bottle” and I realized that God is not an impersonal, distant God who is unaffected by our hurt, pain, or disappointments. How we feel is important to him – what delights, moves, inspires us, or what makes us afraid, stressed, worried, sad, lonely. And while we may not always like the way he answers our prayers when his greater purpose is not immediately apparent, we can be sure of one thing: God is always for us.
Of course, on this particular occasion, I was thrilled that his answer happened to be a yes! Thank you, Lord!