- Matthew 16:2-3 ESV
Yesterday was truly a "Dog Day in August". It began sunny, hot and humid and by late morning it was nearly unbearable. So, I completed my chores and went inside to write in the air conditioning. I was planning on bringing the horses into the barn no later than mid-afternoon to give them a break from the sun, but I dozed off, sleeping blissfully until I was awakened by the commotion outside.
Coming back to consciousness I realized it was thunder and it was coming from the west. Menacing gray clouds were rapidly approaching and the thunder roared even louder with bolts of cloud to ground lightning flashing in the sky. Shortly thereafter, the rain began and within a minute or two it was raining so hard that I could barely distinguish the barn fifty yards away. I knew the horses would have to stay where they were until it abated.
To make matters worse, once the storm reached us, it slowed down as it met the Atlantic sea breeze which kept it stationary. For just under two hours some of the heaviest rain I've ever seen in Florida pounded down, the metal roof pinging while the water began to rise. But then, just as fast as it began, it slowed to a drizzle and the sky lightened. That was a good thing for in that short span of time the skies dropped almost five inches of rain on our property which has received heavy rainfall all summer.
As I slogged out to the barn in my waders, I looked down pasture and beheld a beautiful sight. The horses were grazing on a high part of the property, surrounded by a family of deer and a flock of egrets. Between us was a short-lived lake, caused by the rain, which would remain until the drainage could keep up with the water volume. And I thought about how peaceful it was to see different groups of animals share space together while we humans have trouble getting along. And it also reminded me how lucky my family is to have this "little peace of heaven" where we can enjoy nature up close and personal, removed from the traffic and mayhem that is so much of today's modern world.
As the last of the animals came in through the gate, one of our two wonderful Great Pyrenees, Salvador, pulled his usual trick, sneaking out the gate into the pasture. He romped through the water, then rolled in the sand, reveling in his little game. He never runs off but just enjoys being a big tease to let me know who he is. And then he came back, performed his usual shake off all over me, and went into the tack room for his dinner. He was pleased with himself and, once again, was covered with grime. I guess it fends off the bug and mosquitoes.
Later, as I sat on the porch looking at the lush green that is rural Florida after a summer storm, I thought about the scripture that opened this commentary. We can interpret the weather pretty accurately from God's signs in the sky, often better than the weatherman, but we just can't seem to figure out what the signs all around us as humans indicate. God made us in His image, obviously wanting us to live in His image as well, yet we can't seem to come to grips with that simple truth, thinking we have all the answers ourselves. Oh, how inadequate we are to accomplish anything without His guiding hand. We've truly got a lot of learning to do.
Dear Lord, We thank you for the signs in the sky that you give us to prepare ourselves for each day. And we ask that you give us the common sense to realize that only you can guide us on the signs of the times and help us prepare for what may lie ahead. We ask in Jesus' name, Amen.