And Then the Rain Came!
Published 9:57 am Thursday, August 4, 2022
I have worked on a lot of jobs over the years; some were fulfilling and others not so much. And there have been a few things I have tried that if I had to depend on them for a living I would have been living in deep poverty. One of those is concrete work. Although I have never worked in that profession for a living, I have attempted a few small projects over the years with varying degrees of success; most outcomes have not been anything to brag about. Every project that I have attempted looked pretty good while the concrete was wet but much different after it dried—and usually not for the better.
Some time back I made an attempt at pouring a small slab at the church as an extension to a walkway leading up to one of the entries into the building. That meant that it is a highly visible area so if I made a mess of it a lot of people would be looking at it on a regular basis. Without going into all the details of how it worked out and how much time it took to make such a small walkway, there was an added element that contributed to my frustration—the weather.
When Gale and I started the project that morning, the chances of rain were said to be really small, but as the morning wore on I had a little concern about the thickening sky. Regardless of what the sky looked like, though, the weather radar did not indicate any problems so we proceeded with our work. (I have heard that the weather man is the only person who can get everything wrong and still keep his job, and maybe there is some truth to that!)
Since I have always loved the land and enjoyed seeing things grow, I try to be cautious about complaining about rain, but I have to admit that there are a few occasions when a summer shower can really mess up good plans. One of those times is when you have concrete mixed and poured and needing to be leveled right away. Not only that, but there were several unopened bags of concrete on the truck completely at the mercy of the threatening clouds. And then it happened–the rain started to pour, and as if that was not enough to contend with, lightening got too dangerously close to risk staying with the job. I was finally able to safely cover the wet concrete with a plastic sheet and wait it out in hopes that we could salvage what we had done. It did not look encouraging to say the least.
The writer of the Book of Ecclesiastes raised a question that many of us might have grappled with at times: “What does the worker gain from his toil?” (Ecclesiastes 3:9, New International Version). Earlier in the book he stated, “Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun” (2:11). That sometimes appears to be a fair evaluation of life, but we can be encouraged when we remember that when we labor for God, it does not go unnoticed by Him and it achieves benefits that we might not see immediately. As 1 Corinthians 15:58 reminds us: “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
After the rain finally stopped, we were able to get back to work. Not knowing what to expect as I pulled back the covering, I was relieved to find the material still workable. As for the finished project after it dried—well, let’s just blame it on unexpected adverse meteorological circumstances!