There were once some friends of a sick man who tore the roof tiles off a house to lower him, still in his sick bed, into a room where Jesus was in hopes that he would heal him.
So, here we are, Lord, ripping the roof tiles off heaven and asking for our farmers, ranchers, and their livestock, that you would send healing rain to their parched land.
There are many, like me, who have no idea what it is like to depend on mother nature for our livelihood. For us, heat and high temperatures are an inconvenience and our water bill spikes trying to keep the lawn alive and the electricity bill is higher trying to stay cool and that’s about all we suffer.
But, to our farmers who watch tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars’ worth of investment to grow a crop, they slowly die inside right along with the plant that withers and the dust that blows. Unlike most of us who get a paycheck every couple of weeks, they get maybe two or three paychecks a year when the harvest comes in and, for many, there will be no harvest and no paycheck. For some, their dreams and the dreams of their family who have farmed the land for generations are dying right along with the crops.
And for our ranching friends who are being forced into selling their cows – the lifeblood of their operation – we rip more of the roof tiles off. We’re not talking a momentary inconvenience for them when they decided to sell their cows they breed; they are watching generations of work, breeding and genetics disappear in the back of a semi rolling away from the pasture. And many of these cows have names and are like family to them, so this isn’t just livestock to them, it’s a lifestyle and livelihood. This is their life; they can imagine no other.
And they just need rain, so we rip the roof off heaven and ask for a rain. We’re not asking for a ferocious thunderstorm that shows up like an ex-lover and trashes the country with torrential gully-washers, but rather we ask for a slow, steady, gentle rain that seeps deep in the soil, fills their ponds with fresh water and saves those crops that still have a bit of hope.
Lord, we like these farmers and ranchers, and we like them a lot. We are grateful for them, for the hard work they put in from dawn to dusk in the blistering heat of summer and the bone chilling cold of winter, for the food they raise so we can eat three times a day, and for the values they embody that bind the fabric of our nation together.
We cannot feel their pain, we cannot take their worry away from them, we cannot give them what they need; only you can do that.
But we do want them to know we care. While we have no idea what they are experiencing, we want them to know we care and wish we could help.
In the meantime, we’ll do the best we can and keep ripping off the roof tiles to lower our friends in for your healing touch.