Monday, November 17, 2008

Grace in Rain

I spent this past Friday and Saturday with my son Bobby and a lot of other Cub Scouts on a campout. Overall it was a good time of hiking, chopping wood, tying knots, learning first aid, etc. I will admit that the sleeping was not the best. I'm pretty sure that I slept well from about 1-3:30 AM. Caffeine kept me awake until one (my mistake), and hard ground gave me fits from 3:30 onward. By the time we left for home on Saturday evening I was ready for a hot shower and a soft bed.

I bring all this up because in the midst of it all I was again reminded of God's great grace even in the small things of life. After we ate lunch, Bobby and the other scouts departed for an hour of "map and compass." Right after they left the campsite (where lunch was served), I began to break down our tent. As I began this process, I was praying to God to keep the rain away. If you have ever taken down a tent, you know that this can be a time-consuming process. This is no small tent; it sleeps seven people.

It had rained for most of the previous night. Despite a nice morning, the clouds began to roll back in as we were eating lunch. As I fumbled with metal poles and ropes of various sizes, I continued to pray that God would keep the rain away until I managed to get the tent into our car. I really did not want to shove a wet, soggy, muddy tent into my trunk. Yuck.

After I had taken all our belongings to the car, had the poles and ropes folded, and the tent was lying flat on the ground, I began to fold it up. I'm not sure how the experts do this, but I simply fold it in half over and over. After each fold, I sort of flop on top of the whole thing, shoving the air out with my body weight. I'm sure it was not pretty to watch.

Somewhat miraculously, I managed to get the tent into a small enough shape to shove it into its bag. After I heaved it into my trunk, I walked over to another close campsite to talk with one of Bobby's scout leaders. We had talked for about two minutes when it began to sprinkle. A few minutes later it was pouring.

As close as I can calculate, in God's providence there were only about 5 minutes between when I finished packing up the tent and when it began pouring. Since luck doesn't exist, this must have been God's doing. God, in His grace, spared me from getting soaked and muddy.

This is not a big issue. This certainly does not deal with salvation. However, it is a small example of how God answers prayer about even small things. I thank Him for being willing to listen to the prayers of a semi-frustrated dad who simply didn't want to get wet.

No comments: