Rain, Seeds, and Prayer

You see the rain differently when you have seeds in the ground. The springs rains here in Myrtle Point are different than those in the Midwest. Here the rains can last all day, sometimes for several days. Lumpy gray clouds blanket the coastal range and sag into the river valleys. Therefore, a sunny day is always a delight.

But recently, the rains brought me delight because several days earlier Teckla and I had planted our garden. We pushed our beans into the soil and sprinkled our carrot seeds. The rains brought the promise of sprouts and growth. Having seeds in the ground made me grateful for the rain.

Neither Teckla nor I are great gardeners; our garden is more of a spiritual discipline than a practical source of food. I am afraid to do the cost/benefit analysis. Jesus, however, makes great use of sowing, tending, and harvesting to illustrate principles of the kingdom. My thanksgiving for the rain was instructive.

Prayers like seeds disappear. Both are an expression of faith. And in both cases, there is delay that can test our patience. Some beans get pushed too deep and don’t sprout until the second or third rain. Some seeds don’t sprout at all. There are birds, rats, and slugs.

Prayers are seeds, but so are small acts of kindness and little expressions of faithfulness. Just as planting seeds changed my attitude toward the rain, prayers and faithfulness can change our attitudes toward the future. I do not know how or when or whether all my prayers will be answered—when something will poke out of the soil, grow, and bear fruit. But I know I will rejoice in the sprouting and share in the harvest.

By word and example, I have tried to sow the truth of God’s Word into the lives of my children. I think the rain that has nourished those seeds has sometimes come as blessings and sometimes as hardships. But in either case, I rejoice when I see them turn to God and walk in His ways. I share in this harvest.

Whenever and however God moves in Myrtle Point (or the other places for which I pray), I know I share in the harvest because of the hours I have spent interceding for God’s visitation. When we have lots of good seed in the ground, we rejoice in the rain.

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About Mark

I live in Myrtle Point, Oregon with my wife Teckla and am the father of four boys. Currently I teach writing and literature at Southwest Oregon Community College. I am a graduate of Myrtle Point High School, Northwest Nazarene College, and have a Masters in English from Washington State University.
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