What Rain?

mark-hopper-color-2x2By Mark Hopper

Recently my wife and I drove to Arizona to visit some of her family and connect with old some friends.  The skies were clear and the weather was not as hot as we expected.

The day after we arrived, the weather forecaster predicted a 10% chance of rain.  Apparently there was a small hurricane south of Cabo San Lucas that was spinning moisture north toward Arizona.

The weather man predicated heavy rain along the Colorado River with possible flooding near Las Vegas.  But it looked unlikely that we would see any rain in the Phoenix area.

However, as we got into our car to drive across town, we noticed some serious looking clouds in the west.  But, we did not worry since we were going south not west.

Suddenly, the storm reached us and a heavy rain came pouring down.  We actually waited in the parking lot until the heavy rain subsided.   It rained cats and dogs for fifteen minutes.  Crazy!

When the rain finally began to let up, we ventured out toward our destination.  Major intersections were flooded and the traffic on the freeway crept along at a snail’s pace due to the accumulation of water on the roads.

However, as we drove south toward Tempe and Chandler, we noticed that the rain began to let up and patches of blue sky peeked through the clouds.

By the time we got to our destination 20 minutes later,  there wasn’t a drop of water anywhere.  The roads were completely dry.

We had called our hosts to warn them that we expected to be late, but they did not have one drop of rain at their house.

Our hosts were glad to see us, but they asked us one question, “What rain”?  They didn’t see a drop on their side of town.

There is a story in the Bible about a man named Elijah in First Kings chapter 18.  There had been a severe drought in Israel and no rain for three years.  But, in this passage, Elijah warns the King that heavy rains are coming.

This prediction seemed impossible.  The skies were clear.  The drought had crippled their economy and exhausted the people.

I’m sure the King and his people thought to themselves, “What rain”?

The passage records that only hours later, there was a major rain storm that swept across the land of Israel.  The prophet’s prediction had come true.

Let me encourage you to keep you eyes open when you are traveling through Arizona.  As you drive across the desert, rain seems pretty unlikely.  Maybe only 10%.  But, don’t get caught by surprise.  Desert thunderstorms can come quickly and unexpectedly.

I hope we’ll soon see some of that wet stuff in California, too!