Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them. And I will gain glory through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I gain glory through Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen.”
- Exodus 14:15-18
Crossing bodies of water on dry ground is not a one-time thing in Biblical stories. This first instance above set the stage. Then Joshua had the Arc of the Covenant carried into the Jordan River, but as those carrying the Arc touched the edge of the river, the water stopped, and the riverbed was dry (Joshua 6). And then in 2 Kings 2, Elijah strikes the Jordan river with his cloak and the river dried for him and Elisha to pass, and when Elisha came back after Elijah ascended in a whirlwind, Elisha did the same thing with Elijah’s cloak.
Of course, I could have mentioned Jesus walking on water, so why bother drying up a piece of it to walk on, but my blessings on a day a few weeks ago had to do with being dry.
There were thunderstorms in the weather forecast a week or more before anything tropical came through, but my wife wanted to do a few things. I think we had three stops before returning home, the last one at the grocery store. As we got into the car, there were a few drops of water on the windshield. My wife commented on how the rain had held off so far. We had not gotten one block from the house when the heavy rain hit. It rained steadily until we got within a mile of our first destination.
Within that last mile, the rain got steadily less intense. When we opened the car doors, the rain had stopped. When we entered the first store, we heard the rain start to hit the ground behind us, a driving rainstorm, water falling with great ferocity. After that little bit of shopping, we emerged from the store to see that the rain had stopped.
I won’t bore you with the details, but the same thing happened at the next two stops (all remaining stops as I cannot remember if there were three or four stops). It rained, sometimes very hard rain, when we were in a store or in the car. When we were walking to and from the stores, it did not rain. The ground was not dry, but no one would quibble about an occasional puddle that hardly got the bottom of our shoes wet.
For our getting in the car and the first stop in our adventure, I did not think anything of it. But after the same thing happened at the second stop. I paid careful attention at the third stop. God was granting us a special blessing.
With the special blessing confirmed after three stops and never getting wet, I told my wife what I had observed. I said we should be praising God for this wonderful blessing. She said, “I noticed too! Shut up or you might jinx it when we get the groceries into the house.” I laughed.
But our blessing continued with a steady rain falling until we reached our little town, and no rain or even a drizzle while we unloaded the car.
A week later, the remnants of Tropical Storm Fred were just starting to reach our area in Pennsylvania. We got into the car with no trouble. We got into the grocery store with no trouble. But upon finishing our shopping, the full force (what was left of it) of Fred was dumping water in the parking lot. My wife stayed in the grocery store while I walked to the car, unloaded the shopping cart, walked the shopping cart to the collection area, and then went back to the car. I then drove to the entrance of the store and picked up my wife, under a nice awning.
Why did I walk? My platoon sergeant once told me, “It rains on the Army, Sir, never in the Army.” What he meant by that was a few things. 1) I was never to think about grabbing an umbrella, because if I needed one, the Army would have issued me one. It was never considered a part of the uniform and dishonored the uniform, and the US flag on the sleeve, by using an umbrella. (I have never used one unless holding it for my wife ever since although I have not been in uniform for nearly four decades.) 2) It was not dignified for an Army officer to run in a rainstorm. What is he running from? A tiny drop of water? That is nothing like bullets flying, nothing at all!!! 3) This saying by my sergeant is kind of like the cliché of “If it ain’t raining, we ain’t training,” but my experience in Germany was that it had to be snowing for us to do military exercise type training. As an engineer, if it was just raining, we were building something. But if you are caught in a freezing rain situation, never try drilling holes with the post hole digger PTO (power take off) on a backhoe. You can break the drill bit. (Firsthand experience on that one. One of the few days that I gave the guys a day off due to the weather. It warmed up enough the next day to finish the project on time.) And 4) my sergeant had heard that if you walked, you did not get as wet as when you ran. The idea being that you would run through more rain drops by running instead of the prolonged time in the rain by walking. In the television show, Mythbusters, they confirmed my sergeant’s theory by controlled experiment that you get wetter by running than walking. Hey, why go to the trouble and expense of a television show and the experiment setup. Sergeants know these things!!!
But really, before I got the groceries into the back of the SUV, I could hardly get any more drenched than I already was.
Even then, I guess God was blessing me. He may have thought I needed a second bath that day.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.