Like any one-year-old pup, my Labrador mix Macie requires constant exercise, thus the highlight of her day is her walk. We are blessed to live on a secluded patch of property where she can freely frolic under our supervision. She chases birds, cats, and the occasional rock we throw, always coming back to check on us with her tongue hanging to the ground covered in dirt and grass seed.
Looking out the rain-streaked window last Saturday, I didn’t want to take Macie for a walk. She was getting bored, I could tell. She had already chewed up one of my flip flops that morning, and now she was batting at my husband while he attempted to work on his laptop on the couch. If you yell at her, she stops for about three seconds. If you give her the evil eye, she gets nervous and barks in your face. The only solution was a walk.
Begrudgingly, I jabbed my feet into my mud shoes and pulled my coat off its hanger next to the door. Macie exploded out of the house when I opened the door, giddy with intoxicating freedom.
Plodding after her, I zipped up my jacket and flipped up my hood to ward off the light rain. Looking up, I stopped.
The eastern sky was crammed with dark clouds, but an arching ribbon of rainbow momentarily held the impending downpour at bay. If I would have stayed inside, complaining about Macie, I would have missed this display of God’s Genesis 9 promise to all living creatures. Within five minutes, the bright hues had completely faded, and I wondered how many of these quiet phenomena pass me by each day, simply because I am too wrapped up in myself to notice. How many people do I talk to every day without sincerely asking them if there is any way I could encourage them? How many seeds need to sprout in my garden before I think about the One who made those seeds with such capabilities? My walks with Macie have now become a time to pray.
Watching the cherry trees blossom around my home, and seeing the dry brown grass grow green and tall are constant reminders that only God has the power to renew the Earth every spring, along with the power to renew me through grace.
I can see why the 1952 U.S. Congress declared an annual national day of prayer, which has been publicly endorsed by every president since Harry Truman. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan permanently settled the day as the first Thursday every May. While attending these functions can be rewarding and reflective, don’t forget that God is always listening. Don’t let the rain get in the way during the 364 additional days of the year.