Is It Ever Gonna Rain?

My dad was in the water business almost all of his adult life. He drilled water wells, repaired pumps and put in small water systems in rural areas. Originally, his business was McKee Drilling Company and, eventually, McKee Water Service. It was pretty much a one-person enterprise, although, early on, he occasionally had the help of some younger guys and, later, his sons-in-law.

Growing up with a father in the “water business” could be pretty stressful. Every summer, the tension would rise in our home along with the temperature outside. The longer the dry stretch continued, the more my mom, my sisters and I worried about him. Dad was a healthy guy, but particularly during times of drought, he worked long, exhausting hours outside in the heat, often by himself. On the hottest August days—weekdays, weekends, it didn’t matter—he would put on his work boots and khakis and go out on the job, determined to keep water flowing for people, even the ones who used up more than their share keeping their lawns green. I prayed hard for rain, begged and pleaded for rain—we all did— so that my dad could get some relief, some much needed rest.

One day, letting out my own frustration and fear, I said to my dad, “WHEN IS IT EVER GOING TO RAIN?”

He said in a calm voice, “It’s gonna rain.” My ears pricked up because I thought he’d heard a new weather forecast that I’d missed.

“WHAT?” I asked.

“It’s gonna rain. We just don’t know when.”

I was taken aback by him and his matter-of-fact response (and a tad irritated). Could it be that simple? I think for him it was. He knew that the rain would come—eventually (and it did). But, he couldn’t control when it would come. So, he focused on what he could control—his work. So every day—weekdays or weekends, it didn’t matter— he would put on his work boots and khakis and go do it.

Could it be that simple? I pray for me (and for you) that it can.

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