Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4
It was drier than two-month-old bread. It’s been several years now, but the story is as fresh as today’s bread. We were on our second trip to Niger, West Africa. We would fly forever and finally arrive in the capital city of Niamey. There were two things that were always the same. It was always very late at night and we were always totally exhausted. After a day getting acclimated, we would load up and drive all day on one of the few paved roads in the entire country.
Niger is a sub-Saharan country in West Africa. It was on the edge of the Saharan Desert—hot, dry, and dusty. Our journey would take us to a small city in the middle of nowhere. We would stay with a family there who were kind and filled with hospitality. As is customary, we would settle in and then go see the “chief” of the village. We would meet, greet, and thank him for allowing us to come and stay in the village. On this particular trip we were distributing food to several dozen families in the area. Because of the extreme dryness, food was always in short supply and because of a few years of drought—it was life-threatening.
As we met with the chief, we told him we were servants of the Creator God and asked him if there was anything that we could pray for. Without hesitation, he said, “I want you to pray for rain. It hasn’t rained here in a very long time and we are desperate. We have prayed but no rain has come.” We prayed there and then and told him we would pray more—even asking people in America to pray. And we did, both.
What happened next is a thing of legends—except it is not a legend—it is truth. After immediately contacting some of our folks back in America, and praying ourselves…again…we went to sleep. Sometime in the middle of the night, the wind began to blow, and the temperature began to fall. Soon, there was the sound of a distant thunder. Then, as we stood in our doorway and watched, a heavy rain began to fall. David, one of our team members, was soon out dancing in the rain. All of us were dancing in our hearts.
We would later learn that our friends in America, watching the radar online, saw a storm develop from nothing and move across our area. As we danced in Africa—they were dancing in America. That very night, right at three inches of rain fell in that village on the edge of the desert. It was unbelievable. It rained for several hours and fell so hard that several walls, made of mud, straw, and manure, collapsed. A couple of storage buildings lost walls too. When light finally came, literally, small lakes of water were everywhere. We would be using the four-wheel drive feature on our trucks for several days.
I can’t remember if the chief came to us or summoned us to go to him, but that day we had another conversation. He thanked us for praying and said that our God did what their god did not do. He was grateful for us coming to the village and invited us to stay as long we wanted—and to return as often as we wanted. Such are the wonders and miracles of the One True God. This would not be the last or only miracle we would witness in West Africa. It is amazing what God can and will do if the primary focus is to glorify His name. I sometimes wonder if the people there still speak of the night of the rain. I know we do.
There is an intriguing scripture in the Psalms—a collection of Hebrew hymns in the Jewish and Christian Bibles. It is found in Psalm 37:4. It says that if we are willing to delight ourselves in God, He will give us the desires of our heart. At first that sounds like a “rub the bottle and a genie pops out” story. Trust me…it is not. You see the first part is key—when we delight ourselves in God—then our desires align with His desires and when that happens—miracles do too.
This year, let me encourage you in a couple of areas. First, if you haven’t thought much about Creator God—Jehovah God—in a while—why not revisit Him? I believe you will come to the same conclusion I did years ago. He is amazing. And then, as we journey through this New Year, let’s commit to making His desires, our desires. Let’s get on the same page with Him and watch, in wonder, what He can and will do. It may not be exactly what we want but it will be what is exactly right. He doesn’t make mistakes. Wrapped up in all of this is that powerful truth we end each story with. It is good news for this day and every day. We can have the confidence assurance that, “He’s got this” and He does.