The Rain Stopper
I was just about to dismiss them when one boy did something that surprised me. He bowed his head and said a silent prayer.
My seventeen fourth graders raced into the classroom, each trying to be the first to sit down. As soon as they were seated, I asked them to quickly pack their books and pencils. School would be over in 15 minutes, and I could see dark, ominous clouds rushing in from the sea. I didn’t want them to walk home in a storm.
But the children didn’t listen. They were all talking at once, trying to tattle on who had misbehaved in a previous class. I reminded them to respect all their teachers and then asked them to quiet down so that we could pray before they went home. Still, no one listened.
“Fourth graders, please look out the window toward the sea,” I asked. A few of them turned to look. “Can you see those dark clouds coming closer and closer to our school? Do you want to get home wet?” Suddenly it began to pour.
That caught the attention of my little noisemakers. “No, Miss, we want to go home dry,” they responded loudly.
“OK, in that case, if you hear someone talking, please ask them nicely to be quiet. We are not going to pray until everyone is silent.”
When all was quiet, I asked the children to bow their heads and close their eyes. Then, as I do at the end of each school day, I asked Jesus to keep them safe, help them with their homework, and bless their families. Then I asked Him for something that my students had never heard me ask for before. I asked Jesus to stop the rain until they were all safely home.
When I opened my eyes, I saw two of my students laughing. “Why are you laughing, children?” I asked. Silence fell across the room. My fourth graders knew that it was rude to laugh, walk, or even open their eyes when someone was praying because that person was talking to God.
A shy smile crept across the face of one of the children who had laughed. “Miss, I was laughing because you asked Jesus to stop the rain for us. He can’t do that. It’s impossible! He’s not even here to do it!”
I knew that most of my students wanted to believe in someone that they could see and not someone they only heard about each morning in class worship. “Children, remember the Bible story that we read yesterday?” I asked.
“Yes,” they responded.
“What happened when Jesus commanded the wind and the waves to be still?”
“Yes, even the weather obeys Him. I believe that if we ask Jesus for something that we really need, He will give it to us. I asked Jesus to stop the rain because I believe we need that in order to get home safely. If you want the rain to stop, why don’t you ask Him too?”
I stood looking at the children, not sure what to do next. I was just about to dismiss them when one boy did something that surprised me. He bowed his head and said a silent prayer. When the other students saw what he did, they followed his example. I silently asked Jesus to stop the rain so that the children’s faith in Him would grow. When everyone finished praying, I dismissed the class.
The children who had rides dashed out into the deluge. But those who had to walk home decided to play a game until the storm stopped. I was busy arranging textbooks when I noticed that the downpour had turned into a light shower. I knew that God had answered our prayers. I said a quick prayer of thanks and then told the children, “You’d better go home now; Jesus has answered your prayers. Look—” I pointed out the window. “The rain has stopped!”
The children were overjoyed. Grabbing their bags they ran out of the classroom, yelling, “Miss, why you didn’t tell us that the rain had stopped!”
It didn’t rain again that afternoon for a couple hours, and then it poured. The next day, the children who had walked home from school told me that they had arrived just in time.
Many of my students come from non-Christian homes. I praise Jesus for this answered prayer because it helped the children to realize how much He cares for them. Their faith is growing, and they are learning to trust Him.
And they aren’t the only ones. I think that the greatest blessing of my volunteer service has been that I, too, have learned to trust Him more. I now know that, whatever my circumstances, He will always be there for me.
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