Most beautiful sight yesterday?
College students walking down the middle of the road in a clothes-drenching thunderstorm, huddled beneath rainbow-hued umbrellas, reading. . .
About Jesus Christ.
That beats Pinterest, folks, anytime!
I have to admit: it wasn't the most outwardly optimistic afternoon for an evangelistic outreach. When we drove onto the campus of the University of the Philippines, the sky was already hanging low and dark. It had been blistering hot and sunny all day. Not one of the nine of us had brought an umbrella.
By the time we pulled into the parking lot, thunder was rumbling. By the time we were officially parked, lightning was flashing above us.
The rain started then, first just a tiny splash or two on the windshield, but it quickly became a downpour. We stared out the windows at the watery world around us.
I was the most timid among the crew. "I think we should go home," I suggested.
But my husband had a crazy idea: "I'll pull up next to that covered sidewalk and someone can jump out and give tracts to all the people there!"
"Yes!" our Bible college students said.
"Yay!" our boys shouted. (Preteen boys don't see rain; they see a Divinely-installed sprinkler system.)
The thunder crinkled and crackled like fireworks popping.
I looked at the lightning streaking the sky. I looked at the metal over the sidewalk. I looked at the sheets of rain between here and there. And I felt a terrible disappointment.
I had awakened at sunrise and prayed for this moment. We had prayed before we left the house. We had prayed in the car, too. . . three times! So why all this rain?
But I have a husband who doesn't see storm clouds. He sees souls.
So we came up with an even better plan. One of our team members recommended going down a side road to a covered place with food stalls and there try to catch people who were stranded by the rain. We would have a captive audience.
It worked like a dream. My husband dropped us off where we could scurry from car to cover. Our three companions (one graduate and two students) almost immediately engaged people in gospel-driven conversations. My boys and I stood in the middle of a wind- and rain-swept sidewalk and passed out tracts. Eventually the rain diminished for awhile to a mere sprinkly annoyance and we moved to a nearby building.
There I saw an older man sitting on the stairs. I pointed him out to Tim. "I'll wait in the car so you can talk to him," I offered. So we swapped roles, and I became the de facto driver of our illegally parked car.
I watched him go over and sit down on the concrete steps beside the man. I watched Ian two steps above him: a college student sharing the gift of life with another college student. I watched my daughter and our two ladies, Donna and Shen, pass tracts to the college students as they walked past. And I watched secular university students walk down the middle of the road in the rain, reading about Jesus Christ.
And while I sat there and watched it all, I pondered a significant verse.
Ecclesiastes 11:4. He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.
Because my husband and our evangelistic team refused to look at the clouds, we sowed. I have faith that we will reap also. Four people heard the gospel yesterday that wouldn't have if we had allowed foul weather to stop us. George and Chester, the two men on the stairs, were especially interested in the conversations and had many questions.
Later that night, I sat in church and listened to Ian give a testimony. He put the last piece in place for me when he pointed out God's sovereignty in the form of rain.
Chester, the art student he spoke with, was only there BECAUSE OF THE RAIN. He had gone there without an umbrella and thus had to wait for the Divinely-installed sprinkler system to stop before he could leave.
So I say to you: Don't look at the clouds!
Our circumstances may never look perfect, but God is working in the midst of them. Those un-optimistic looking circumstances may be the very tool God will use.
So go today and share the gift of eternal life with someone.
Sow. And reap.