Monday, July 1, 2013

He Pushed the Clouds Aside...

And the rain just keeps falling... We've had one wet month of June here in the Triangle. Even as I sit here writing this, I am listening to the deluge coming down outside.  It would come as only a small surprise if we started seeing animals lining up by twos. Normal rainfall amount recorded at Raleigh-Durham airport for the average month of June is 3.52 inches. The actual amount we just received in June was 10.08 inches. See what I mean? This particular wet month of June also happened to be the month for two very special weddings - the daughter of one of my dearest friends got married on June 9th and my son married his long-time sweetheart two weeks later, on June 22nd. 

Both couples planned outdoor ceremonies. Gulp.

Weeks and weeks of planning and frantic preparations (I would say months, but I try not to lie here on this blog) led up to both of these days as two precious, young , Christian couples prepared to commit to a lifetime of love, devotion, and shared everythings before God, family, and special friends.  Neither wedding was lavish, but both were do-it-yourself celebrations marked by the contributions of time and labor by an army of loving volunteers.  As details fell into place and checklists were marked off, the one variable that could dampen the festivities ( pun intended ) was the weather.

Two days before Ellie & Jonathan's wedding, her dad posted this request on Facebook.
"Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. James 5:17
 ...I am asking all of God's people to pray as Elijah did, that God would hold back the rain, not for 3 1/2 years, but only for about 3 1/2 hours. Please LORD ! Thank you all for praying!"

That's right. All that sunshine is making her squint -  God answered this father's prayer and Ellie and Jonathan had a beautiful day for their wedding.

Jump ahead 2 weeks and several inches of rain later.  The forecast for June 22nd had started out calling for partly cloudy with widely scattered showers, but as the day drew closer, the forecast became more foreboding.   Here is my Facebook appeal from the morning of the wedding.
"The weather forecast for today has deteriorated slightly, and is now calling for scattered showers and storms. The ceremony is outdoors at 5:30pm and the reception following is partially outdoors. Please pray with us for N.Durham/Bahama to remain rain-free this afternoon and evening. Thank you!"

The wedding venue for both ceremony and reception was an hour from our house. The wedding party and a few other friends spent all morning out there setting up and then went home to get ready. Around lunchtime, the clouds started to roll in and we saw the big expanse of green ( rain ) on the Doppler radar on the local weather channel, headed straight for us. It poured at our house.  Friends in the area were reporting rain at their locations as well. We got in the cars and headed towards the venue, fully expecting to initiate Plan B, where we would pack all the guests into the small reception lodge and make the best of the weather, celebrating the new couple even as the decorations outside became drenched.  But still I prayed. "Lord, we will praise you no matter what, for You are always good and we know that Your ways are not our ways.  But I ask for Your favor. Could you just push those clouds aside over Spruce Pine Lodge,  just for a couple of hours?"

1 John 5:14  This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.

As we approached Bahama, NC, we saw that the clouds overhead were breaking up.  Upon arrival at the venue, we found everything nice and dry.  And it remained that way. For the entire rest of the day. The first raindrops started to fall, no lie, as the couple was saying goodbye and walking out to their car at 10:30 pm.  And there was only a very light rain as we spent the next hour packing up, loading up, and heading home.  God pushed the clouds aside and gave my son and his bride a gorgeous outdoor June wedding...  His wedding gift to these children of His.

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