"Summer rains always seemed to be rare in the heat of haying season when I was growing up. The weather report’s '50% chance' of rain usually translated into 'not a chance'. However, occasionally we were surprised by the unpredicted and unexpected. Dad and I went out to pick up the last load of hay bales from a field south of the home place. When we left, the temperature was close to 100 (it felt like 150), there was not a trace of a breeze, and there was only a trace of a cloud in the southwest. We were just about loaded when the wind picked up, the temperature dropped, and rain and hail began pelting us.
"Dad hefted a bale over his head with one hand, pulled me under it with the other and yelled, 'under the wagon!' Using the bale as an umbrella, we both scurried under the protective cover of the hay wagon. We sat watching and talking until the clouds gave up their tantrum and passed on by. There is something neat and beautiful about the smell of fresh alfalfa and rain cleansing the skies, watering the thirsty ground. When I’m out in the country, the whiff of fresh-cut alfalfa or the aroma of rain in the air brings happy, nostalgic memories to the surface.
"From the time our souls get a whiff of the baptismal waters, our Father encourages us to take shelter under His protective 'wings'. Though we may be pummeled by hail storms of this world’s weapons, God’s promised protection is always with us. Why not tuck yourself under God’s grace today?
"I'll walk this day in faith, dear LORD, no foe, no storms I'll fear; But trusting in Your precious Word I'm safe, for You are near."
"Protective Father, shield us from the storms that pommel and beat us down. Send Your angels of mercy to walk with us and encourage us when our confidence grows thin. Give us the wisdom to take refuge in Your strength when ours seems weak. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen."