Monday, May 15, 2017

Parting The Nimbostratus Sea

This week was very typical of missionary work in the area. We walked a lot. We knocked a lot. It rained a lot. It has been raining for the last 7 1/2 months now. A few days ago the rain was really intense. One of my shoes had mostly soaked through and we had only been out for 30 minutes so far that day. I was rather tired of the rain, but was doing my best to push through it with a great attitude. Then, the sun came out briefly. We were under a very small blue strip of sky, with thick dark rain clouds all around us. A little ways a way, over the water, we could see a very, very nasty looking storm with great twisted, clawed hands and a maw of teeth like rusted nails.  I was really just not looking forward to it. I also knew that the Elders in the area right above us were on bike and were having a difficult time and also really not looking forward to it. We said a very sincere prayer and asked that somehow, we (most especially the Elders above us, who were having a very difficult time staying motivated at the time) would be spared the rain for at least a little while longer and be able to have some blue sky and the sun shining on us. We then supplicated and asked that if clear skies were not in God's will, we desired the strength and motivation to be able to keep our spirit and energy up despite the morally pernicious storm.
We prayed, and felt good. The storm approached, I was steeling myself for the break of all hail or something, but deep inside I was still praying that the rain wouldn't come. 
The clouds approached, soon, we were overshadowed by malicious looking choppy gray lumps. But the rain didn't  come. We could still see the rain not too far away. Still, I prepared myself, knowing that those rain clouds were still moving our way. Deep inside, I was still praying. I knew God could change the weather if he really wanted to. 
Well, the rain never came. After a little bit, having lost all sight of any blue skies, we suddenly and unexpectedly found ourselves under blue sky again with rain all about us. Pretty soon, the clouds split, and we found a thin streak of blue sky stretching off into the distance before us, with threatening black clouds all about. All day long, the dark gray rain clouds hovered ominously nearby, always seeming on the brink of destroying us, but they never did. We had wonderful warm and sunny weather for the rest of the day.
It was honestly really awesome. I was just so grateful that God really cared about us that much. It was truly a witness to me of the power of prayer and of God's deep love for us.
Sometimes, God allows us to go through storms in order to build our character, Sometimes, we build our character as we witness the approaching storm and rely on God for it to be dispersed. Either way, the relief and growth comes because of faith in God. Either way, we are spared by heaven's power, and are able to look back at the experience, marveling at what God has done for us.
Anyway, that is really all I have for the week. Happy Mother's day.
A typical "Washington" sun. Can you spot it?
Elder Benge

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