“God does great and unsearchable things, wonders without number,” said Job long ago. Then he explained, “He gives rain on the earth and sends water on the fields” (Job 5:8-10). Seldom, however, do we think of a rain shower as being a wonder or something of awe, yet when you consider the complexity of the whole process, which we take for granted, it’s a whole different issue.
Let’s start with the obvious. Where does rain come from? “From the sky,” a six-year old would say impatiently. Right, that’s the direction, but how does it get there? “Well, condensation and cooling,” a high-schooler would contribute to the conversation. Right, but it’s still not quite that simple.
Anyone who has been to the Middle East knows that one of the great challenges and problems is how to find enough water for survival. Subsequently water has been a weapon in the ongoing struggle for survival. So for rain to fall in Israel, water would have to be evaporated in the blue Mediterranean Sea several hundred miles away, and the winds and atmospheric conditions would have to come together to move that inland a considerable distance.
John Piper explains, “…if one inch of rain falls on one square mile of farmland during the night, that would be 27,587,400 cubic feet of water, which is 206,300,160 gallons, which is 1,650,501,280 pounds of water.” Wow! That’s heavy any way you look at it, so the water has to change form to join the clouds overhead, then form molecules around dust particles and gently float down to earth without damaging the crops. And, by the way, don’t forget that the Mediterranean is sea, which also means it contains salt water which would kill the crops, so God does a desalinization process, removing the salt from the water so it doesn’t harm the crops.
He gives rain on the earth, and sends waters on the fields. Job 5:10 KJV
Awesome, says Job of the whole process. How better describe what we take for granted as the clouds gather and we casually say, “Well, it looks like we’re in for a shower.”
The reality is that we take so many of the wonders of God’s handiwork for granted, from the miracle of conception as a single cell is formed with the entire genetic code in place to the way our body breathes clean air and the oxygen is carried through the bloodstream to our veins and capillaries.
No, I don’t see the molecules of water form in the clouds overhead, nor do I see the oxygen carried through my body which keeps me alive, yet all of this is part of God’s handiwork which I take for granted day by day.
It is little wonder that David cried out, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well” (Psalm 139:14). With all of our scientific sophistication and knowledge, we have overlooked the miracle of life that is necessary to sustain us day by day. Sometimes it is good to stop everything, find a quiet place of solitude and lift your voice towards heaven, saying, “Father, thank you for what I take for granted everyday–life, breath, health, the use of my limbs, the ability to hear and see, and the privilege of thinking and praising You. Forgive me for taking Your care for granted.”
Then remind yourself of what Jesus said as He called attention to the lilies of the field, that you are of more value than these. When you see clouds form and you smell ozone that comes with rain, remind yourself that God hasn’t forgotten you. To the contrary, His care for you is awesome, just as Job described. It’s a reminder that God knows your need as His child and can be counted on to meet it.
Resource reading: Psalm 139:1-24