I pray at the kitchen sink more than anywhere else.
I think it’s something to do with the soothing warm water and the fact that washing dishes is a focused task. Compared to, say, cleaning up the living room, which has me rabbit trailing between toys and books and the old carpet stain I keep meaning to re-treat and the nagging reminder from an overstuffed basket that I need to sort through the mail.
At the kitchen sink there are only dishes and soap suds and my thoughts.
Late at night while the household sleeps I straggle into the kitchen between cleaning up and bedtime to find peace in a sink full of waiting dishes. And before I know it I am turning over more than cups; I am sharing what I find in the back of my mind with the God who meets me in my unconventional kitchen.
So it is that as I rinse my bright red frying pan I find myself praying desperate dreams for the future
I pray for what I want, but rarely for what I have.
Until I was recently reminded of this verse: “Ask rain from the Lord in the season of the spring rain, from the Lord who makes the storm clouds, and he will give them showers of rain . . . .” Zechariah 10:1 (ESV).
In the season of rain, pray for rain.
And suddenly it’s New Year’s Eve 1999, and I’m back on a dry game farm in Zimbabwe surrounded by farmers who haven’t seen decent rain in months. These sun-weathered men sit in their rough clothes at a long table that’s been set for dinner under the Southern Cross. The soft linens and delicate place settings are a quirky contrast to those seated before them ready to toast in the new millennium.
The first course is cucumber soup.
But with first bites come cold, hard drops. The soup ricochets up at those dipping spoons down into it. Rough faces and beards are splattered green. Cucumber soup everywhere but in our mouths.
Rain. Long looked for rain pelts down from the clouds that are our only ceiling tonight. I prepare to make a dash for it – to shelter and warmth and the inside of the lodge.
But I am the only one to move.
A table of grown men carries on their meal as the rain falls down and the soup splashes up. The thunder and force of the water is so loud that it crowds out any attempt at conversation.
But their actions speak louder than words and my father interprets them for me, “They won’t leave the rain, because they don’t want it to leave them.” In the season of rain, they want more rain. And they are afraid if they get up it will be over.
With soap suds up to my elbows I lean on the sink, remembering.
What I have now is once what I wanted so desperately: healed marriage, healthy children, the beginnings of meaningful work. I don’t want to lose sight of these in the chase after my next prayer request.
In the season of rain – still – pray for rain. Presume nothing; take nothing for granted; treasure everything.
Because, once the rain begins and sends soup splashing all over you, it’s tempting to walk away from the answered prayer and move on to the next thing.
I do not want to do that.
I want to sit and revel in what God has given me here and now. I want it to splash up and onto and all over me. I want to pray for its protection and its continuation.
Daily, between soap suds and dirty dishes, I want to pray for what I have.
How about you – what were you once desperate for? What have you been given? What do you need to remember to treasure?
Let’s sit out in the rain and share, shall we?Leave a Comment
Thank you so much for this reminder. I can treasure my wonderful husband, a real gift and blessing to me – and my job that, although I get tired of sometimes, is still an incredible answer to prayer!
Oooh mercy, girl! I have chills right now after reading this because it really spoke to me this morning. I need to just stand here and soak in all this rain, too! Thank you so much for sharing from your heart!! <3
Sarah H. says
“Because, once the rain begins and sends soup splashing all over you, it’s tempting to walk away from the answered prayer and move on to the next thing.”
Oh so true. I join you in this desire, friend, to “sit and revel in what God has given me”, to pray for what I have.
Thanking God for the treasure of friends once longed for and prayed for so fervently. I so often froget to thank Him for what I have in them.
Thanks for the invite to sit in the rain with you this morning!
Jenni Saake "InfertilityMom" says
Such a beautiful reminder! Because I’ve lived the “drought” of infertility, I’m hyper-sensitive to the fact that my blessings can cause others pain. I don’t always celebrate my kids like I should, because I’m afraid of hurting someone still in the wait. I don’t brag on my husband like I should because I fear stepping on the tender toes of friends facing singleness, divorce or simply unhealthy marriages.
But God keeps working on my heart, reminding me that He is the Giver of all good gifts and that it is fine, even proper, to rejoice in what He has given. Sensitivity to hurting hearts is still good and has a place, but sometimes I need to shout His blessings from the rooftop and leave Him to care for those who might be unintentionally tender to my rain-fall-out.
This week I read a “repost to your profile if…” message that I wasn’t going to post because I thought of several friends hurting over broken relationships. But God prompted me to think of my husband too and so I hesitantly copy/posted, “If you have a wonderful husband that works hard to provide for you and would do anything just for you and your family, then repost this as your status to give the honest, well-behaved men out there the recognition they deserve!? Because great men are few and far between, and I have one of them.?” Turned out he had been having an especially hard week at work and had been feeling devalued by me as well. About an hour later he posted, “Great wives are also in short supply, and I have one of the best!”
Thank you, Father, that You are both found in the desert place and where the streams of abundance flow. Please help me to remember to take time to dance in the rain when you shower it upon my heart.
Wow! God sure does have some fabulous timing! I love the picture of this and love that it’s okay to sit in the rain in order to treasure those wonderful moments God’s given. For me, I’m definitely going to spend some time doing this today for all the answers to prayer about Africa and the ways God met my heart in such an inexplicable way there! beautiful story and so so glad you shared!!
I love how you think! Thanks for sharing your heart!
It blesses me, friend!
Ahhh…such wise advice and the Lord has prepared my heart to hear its message. This morning, I’ve enjoyed being with my daughter. The sweet conversation, the sound of her hearty, joyful laughter, her bright beautiful smile…my heart is full of gratitude for these treasured moments that I’ve prayed for. She had been so quiet up in her room recently. I prayed she join the family every now and then…I was concerned…she was busy with school work and other things…but today…we enjoyed…sharing…laughing…just being together.
i run out of the rain i’ve been praying for all too often. thank you for the reminder to sit in it and slash around a while. (love you LJ!)
Wow, this is so awesome. I didn’t quite expect that!
Thanks for this reminder and encouragement. I love it.
mmmm…thank you for this post!
I was once desperate for a message…one specific to and for me…now that I have it, I spend so much time “working the ministry” that I forget to let the wonder of it soak in. Thank you for reminding me!
Beautiful. Thank you for raining truth into my heart today.
Kristen@Moms Sharpening Moms says
Lisa-Jo…I’ll have you know…
that you are fantastically awesome and I am just crazy about you!
You paint a portrait of thankfulness in a whole new light. I will be thrilled to deal with some soup splashing on me so I don’t miss the multitude of blessings God has placed in my life. I am convicted to express daily thanks for a redeemed marriage, healthy children and for God’s unlimited do-overs and second (third, fourth) chances!
I am so thankful for this AND for you!
Jenn @ Beautiful Calling says
I just loved this post. Thank you.
I was desperate for a second chance, then granted one. May the sacrifice of praise be continually in my mouth!!
Love the post!
I am always struck by your posts Lisa-Jo. They ground me and convict me. THANK YOU for puting to words what I often feel yet cannot capture like you do.
This is exactally what I’ve been feeling but unable to put into words! Thank you for sharing this truth!
Thanks for these beautiful words Lisa-Jo! They were absolutely beautiful and I’m so glad I read them.
To answer your question, I was once desparate to be closer to my family and not feel so ‘alone’. (I had moved to Dallas from Mississippi and was working and living by myself, 600 miles away from the people I missed). I wanted desperately (is there a word that means I wanted it more than desperately? Because, if so…use that word instead) to move closer to my family. The whole single girl, living and working in Dallas was just too much for me to handle. So, I prayed, God, please if it’s Your will, move me closer to my family. And you know what? He answered…in a huge crazy way that wasn’t what I expected. Looking back, I’m so glad it wasn’t in the way I expected. And I think this post was a gentle reminder from Him to remember the gratitude I had back then.
That’s the main post about my gratitude. Just in case anyone wants to read 🙂
Thanks again Lisa!!
I continue to be amazed by how your posts paint such vivid pictures in my mind–sometimes I forget that I’m reading your memories and not one of my own! Thanks for sharing so faithfully. I am always (in)couraged by you!
Oh! Lisa Jo. This makes me miss Africa. Sitting under a few lingering stars in the morning eating wheatabix. And what a lesson. Praise Him in your pain. Pray for what you believe you already have, for in truth we have nothing but Him.
To Think Is To Create says
When I read your writings on Africa, I daydream about traveling there with you someday. What an incredible picture to be thankful and dwel in the now. xo
Thank you for reminding me to be thankful. I nearly lost my husband a year and a half ago, God was very close to me and God saved his life and he is very close to being completely healed, but sometimes I still forget to be thankful. Thank You.
This is a wonderfully written post!
In the midst of a tough parenting season in my life, it is always good for me to be reminded of gratitude. Thankful for what I have here and now. Great (in)couragement for me!
Thank-you for this beautiful reminder. A reminder to document my gratitude.
What a fantastic reminder! Pray for rain during rain. I live in the Pacific Northwest where we see rain all the time, and for me, too long! I need to remember to pray for the answers to my prayers! Thank you!
Mary @ Passionate Perseverance says
Living in the sacrament of the present moment…absolutely beautiful.
Amazing. Simply amazing.
I needed to hear this today. Thank you! I’m such a planner, always looking ahead to the next big thing. It has its benefits in life, but remembering to be grateful is one of the downsides. Thank You, Jesus for all that You have put into my life right now, in this season!
It’s Always Raining Somewhere | says
[…] In the season of rain, pray for rain . […]
Interesting Links: March 2010 Edition says
[…] In the season of rain, pray for rain by Lisa-Jo was a really good reminder. She said, "I pray for what I want, but rarely for what I have." and that struck a cord with me! […]