Holding Back the Rain

In the Book of John, the last verse says: “Now there are also many other things that Jesus did.  Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.”  The crazy thing is, he was only talking about what Jesus did while He was here on earth.   After reading what John had to say, I wondered how many people have lived for Jesus, experienced His fantastic power, and died without recording their stories?  In my own short time here on earth, I have experienced a few such miraculous happenings, one of which happened back in the year that Elvis died, in 1977.

I was working as a framing contractor in the South Austin Cherry Creek area, it was springtime, and the weather was not helping me a bit.  I needed to come up with the money for my taxes, make payroll that week, and pay the other bills that were coming due.  In order for that to happen this house had to be completely finished by 2:00 that afternoon, and the paperwork turned in to the owners.  My partner, Edgar Lormand, had been telling me all day to relax.  Jesus was in control, and everything would work out.  Edgar was my mentor, as well as partner, but the clouds I could see on the horizon were telling me a different story.

“Hey, Rob, check out those clouds, don’t you think we should roll up the tools?” asked James, my lead carpenter, as he came around the building.  Edgar and I were standing on the 2nd row of roof sheathing desperately trying to get it all laid, nailed off, and dried in before the rain hit.  “Not yet, keep working,” Edgar answered for me.  I remember standing there on the roof looking at the black roll of clouds coming over the hill and just stopped.  “Let’s pray” he said, “God can hold it back for us.”  We stood there on the roof in front of those tough framing carpenters, raised our hands and commanded the rain to hold off by the power and authority of Jesus Christ.  

After our prayer I looked down and the guys just stood there staring at us like we were from Mars.  “Hey, go back to work,” I said, “it won’t rain on us until we finish.”  They had already put the tools they were working with in the truck so some of them climbed up with us and started rolling out the black felt.  The rain came at us like a wall of water, but when it got within a couple of hundred yards from us, it split and traveled to the North and South of us.  It was like we were in a bubble with some fine mist falling on the roof.  We worked like crazy for about 20 minutes and as the last roll of felt got stapled, the bubble collapsed, and we got drenched getting off the roof.

I’ve often wondered why I didn’t ask God to let us get off the roof first.   I know God will not always change my circumstances to fit what I think is the best solution; after all, He is God and knows what is best for me.  But there is something about putting ourselves on the line and displaying our trust and faith in Him publicly that He honors.  How much easier is it to just accept our circumstances and forget what Jesus said in Mark 11:23-24:  “Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, Be taken up and thrown into the sea, and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.  Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” 

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