We welcome the rain

We welcome the rain

I watched the dark clouds gather at the horizon beyond the Aburi mountains, then driven into town by a strong wind.  Soon, the rain began to pour down in torrents.

Before long, the rain sped downtown towards Accra at high speed unhindered by any traffic jam.  There it poured the heaven-sent pure and cool water into the Atlantic Ocean.  

I smiled heartily, for rainfall inspires me deeply.  

Fast-backward to the early nineteen eighties, prolonged drought kindled bushfires, dried up streams and parched ground led to food shortages.

On one of those dry and sunny days, I sat with my father under the shed on his farm, staring at the skies while moaning the absence of rain.


Farmers had prepared their lands and were waiting for the downpour that would begin the rainy season.

“Please, God, we need rain,” my father kept on uttering.

Then, a week later, the rains came down and everybody jubilated.  The streams began to flow again and grass sprouted proudly in the field. The farmlands were moisturised in readiness for the seeds and seedlings.

The atmosphere was cleansed and there was freshness everywhere.  Even the animals and birds, both wild and domestic, enthusiastically welcomed the rain.

I will never forget the joy that splashed over the faces of the farmers.  With renewed energy, they worked hard on their farms, looking forward to a fruitful season.

Now here in the city where I live, rainfall carries a different message to us city dwellers. 

“Lord,” I prayed as I watched the rain rushing from the Aburi mountains into town, “please some of your children live at flood-prone areas like Alajo, Nima, Circle and Weija . . .”

For a brief moment, I wondered how to continue such a prayer.  Should I say, “Rain, rain, go away; come again another day, because some people live in lowland areas in town”?  

Or was I to pray, “Lord, thank you for the rain.  Please, pour some more, for the farmers have been waiting for it”?


If you live in East Africa where drought is devastating the land while the people are famishing and animals are dropping dead, you would know how to communicate a prayer to God for rain.

Or in those days in the early nineteen-eighties when lack of rain dried our farmlands and threatened food security, you would know how to pray for rain.

You would have joined the pastors and politicians who gathered at Akosombo to pray for rain to fill the dam to raise the water level that would turn the turbines to generate electricity.

Or if you lived in ancient Israel where rainfall was low and people like Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had to sink wells and even quarrel over them, you would appreciate why they longed for the early and latter rains.

Rain is God-sent, for the promise of the early rain and the latter rain mentioned in Deuteronomy 11:13-14 is fulfilled year after year –

“So, if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today – to love the LORD your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul – then I will send rain on your land in its season, both early and latter rain . . .”

Yet like salt whose presence in the soup we don’t notice except its absence, so rainfall is often taken for granted unless drought hits.  But why wait until we experience drought before we acknowledge God and welcome the rain he sends us?

Let city dwellers deal with the recurrent flooding; let them avoid building on waterways; let them clean the gutters; let the engineers, the mayors and the politicians rise up to their responsibility – but we must welcome the rain!

When there is dryness everywhere and the ground is parched due to drought, doesn’t even the earth cry out for the freshness of rain water to revive it?

Likewise, we get dry spiritually when we stay away from God in our daily life.  If we don’t draw closer to him for nourishment, especially if Christ is missing in our life, we become spiritually dry and emotionally famished.

One day Jesus observed people at a festival.  Although the merrymakers had been eating and drinking, he noticed how spiritually starved they were.  So, with a loud voice, he called –

“Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.  Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them” (John 7:37, 38).

We need fresh water from spiritual rain to revive our spirit – and that is Christ Jesus whose invitation still stands – "Come to me all who are tired and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

Unless we are in tune with the author of life, we would lack his spiritual rain water to refresh our famished soul.

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