Tag Archives: rain

No rain… Again!

Matthew 8:26 (NIV)

“He replied, ‘You of little faith, why are you so afraid?’
Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.”

Mark 4:39 (NIV)

“He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Quiet! Be still!’ Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.”

So often I’ve read this passage and pictured that night out on the water.  I used to arrogantly and piously scoff at the disciples.  “Look how dumb they were.”  “How could they still not get it?!”  “How could they not understand that they were safe with him?!”

I’ve grown since then though… a little.  The verses just before this are Jesus teaching them how much it will cost them to follow him.  He tells them they will be homeless.  He tells them they will have to miss important, meaningful family moments.  He’s teaching them it will cost them their livelihoods, possibly their families and surely their plans.

He hasn’t given them any comfort.  And shortly thereafter, here they are… on a lake in a furious storm in a boat that’s about to be swamped.  They’ll drown.  Danger is all around.  And they run to him.  They wake him.  They beg him.

They don’t doubt his ability to save them like I used to think.  What they doubt is his awareness of the situation.  And they seem to have an idea of how he will save them when they ask.  I’m curious to know what they were expecting.  Maybe they were expecting him to raise the boat out of the water.  Maybe they expected the water to suddenly be held back from over the rails of the boat, similar to Moses crossing the Red Sea and God holding the water back.  Or maybe… they were expecting him to calm the storm.

Whatever their expectations of his actions, they were afraid.  Stressed.  Terrified.  And they were begging him for help.

In five years of CommuniD BBQs, I have no idea how many times God has calmed the storms for us.  I have seen clouds part, literally.  I have seen rain inexplicably surround a park without falling on it.  Twice.  Countless times we have seen and reaped the benefits of those words, “Quiet! Be still!”

Last Saturday.  It was raining.  The forecast called for heavier rain as the day went on.  No relief.  No hope of a break in the storm.  Just cold, miserable rain.  We had three CommuniD BBQs scheduled for the day; Detroit, Hazel Park and Southfield.  I got phone calls from all three leaders asking what to do, when to call it off, etc.  Three leaders who’ve watched these storms calm in the past with me all concerned, maybe even afraid that we’ll get rained out.  I talked them through it, encouraged them, reminded them of miracles of the past and God’s faithfulness in the present.  At the end of the day, all three events happened.  Not a drop of rain fell where it wasn’t supposed to.  Not an once of falling water was left to disrupt God’s plan for the day.  A miracle.  Again.  Amazing.

This Saturday.  It’s raining again.  It’s grey.  It’s cold.  It’s miserable weather.  The rain wasn’t supposed to let up until at least 4:00 pm.  It looked like it would linger on long past then.  We had two CommuniD BBQs scheduled for the day; Detroit and Pontiac.  I looked outside and thought, we might get rained out today.  Again, I got calls from leaders.  Again, anxious, nervous, expecting the rain to continue.  Again, I reassured them reminding them of God’s faithfulness in the past.  What they didn’t know was that this time, I was feeling the same way as they were.  I was nervous.  I was afraid.  I was grasping onto those memories with them.  I was needing the reminders every bit as much as they did.

With the shakiness in my soul of a one year old walking, in faith I continued to encourage them (and me).  I set out from living in Pontiac to drive to Detroit.  Wipers on.  Heat on.  Cold rain.  Answering calls, replying to texts and when no one else was asking me, I was still praying, hoping… no rain.  “Lord, I’m trusting you against my gut instinct of fear.  I will speak in confidence that you will again calm the storms; hoping you do.”

We are such forgetful people.  We are so quick to lose our faith.  We are so quick to be afraid.  And we run to him saying, “Lord, our event will drown!  Don’t you care?  Won’t you help us?  Aren’t you paying attention?”  I don’t think he was bothered that the disciples asked him for help.  They needed help.  What he rebukes them for is their fear and lack of faith.

I can scoff at their lack of faith all I want.  I mean, they could see Jesus right in front of them after all.  But I am every bit as deserving of that scoffing myself.  I may not yet have seen Jesus physically in front of me.  But I have seen the fruit of his words, “Quiet! Be still!” countless times.

So today… AND last week… God held back the clouds!!  In these last 2 Saturdays we’ve seen over 500 people share a meal together.  There have been 5 CommuniD BBQs in 4 locations with 14 partnering groups.  It’s been an incredible couple weeks!

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen God work miracles with the weather on Saturday afternoons.  Five years and we’ve cancelled only 4.  That’s quite a track record of good weather!  And yet every time I can hardly believe it!  Our God still calms the storms!  And He creates space for His Body to form and love at a common table.


No rain

This is the second weekend in a row where it was raining in the morning and they were calling for more rain throughout the day… and God held back the clouds!! In those 2 Saturdays we’ve seen over 500 people share a meal together at 5 #CommuniDBBQs in 4 locations with 14 partnering groups. Because our God still calls the storms… And creates space for His Body to form and love at a common table. My God… YOU ARE AMAZING!!

Homeless BBQ May 16th, 2009

This was our biggest Homeless BBQ to date. The weather forecast was calling for showers and right up until about 1pm they were right. But that’s when God decided to calm the storm…

The grilling didn’t stop for a solid 4 hours. In that time we cooked and gave away approx. 300 hamburgers and 200 hot dogs.

Storms of Life

For those of you who don’t know. My grandma died this morning. I wrote this this afternoon…

It’s muggy outside. I can hear the thunder cracking in the distance. The storms are finally rolling in.
It’s dry inside. We’ve seen the hard times coming from the distance. The storm has finally rolled in.

It’s raining inside.
I see the lightning outside; flashes of light in the darkness of the storm.
I see the Light shining inside; flashes of love in the darkness of uncertainty and the pain of life.
There’s a flash outside and then the light’s out inside. All that I depended on is gone and what is left is the lightning.
Maybe this is how we were meant to see. In the storms of life He gives us strobes of light to walk by. Perhaps He’s teaching us how to live like Him and love like Him. Perhaps if we saw the storm in it’s entirety we might lose heart and falter. Perhaps we are to walk by His Light instead of ours.

It’s raining outside.
I see the rain outside; drops of life in the darkness of the storm.
I see the tears inside; drops of love in the darkness of death.
There’s rain inside and then the rain stops outside. All that I feared is gone and what is left is the sun.
Maybe this is how we were meant to live. In the storms of life He gives us drops of life to drink in. Perhaps He’s teaching us how to live like Him and love like Him. Perhaps if we faced the storm all at once we might drown. Perhaps we are to drink in His life instead of ours.

My God, we need the rain. The ground is so dry and our hearts are so parched.
My God, my God, let the rain fall. Fill it with your life. Let us be soaked in your life and let it drip onto those we touch.
My God, I need the rain. I am thirsty for your love and I yearn to drink it in.
My God, they need the rain. Their hearts are dry and beaten and hard. Soften them with the rain of your love. Give me streams of water to let flow into the desert of their pain.
My God, we need the rain. Let your rain fall and relieve us of this mugginess. Soften us with your rain.
My God, we need your love. I feel the cool breeze of relief. It’s flowing from outside into my heart. 

Let me breathe it in. Let me soak it in. Let me breathe it out. Let me exhale You. Let them feel the coolness of the storm’s breeze. Let them feel the relief. Let them feel your breath. Let them feel your love. (Let them feel your breath of life.)

Give us what we need to whether the storm. Give us strobes of the light of your grace. Give us the rain to soften our parched throats. Give us the thunder of pain and the echo of its end. Give us the breeze of relief to carry us to the coolness of your presence. Give us the streams of your love in these tears. Give us your Son.

Last Summer when we framed her for pigging out on a HUGE banana split. 🙂