One Hundred Percent Chance of Rain
(And No Breakthrough in Sight)
by Catie Naranjo
“There is no backup plan. God is going to stop the rain.”
We had scheduled an evening service in the park. We imagined the huge crowds normally at the park on Sunday evenings. All the people would stop and listen to the worship and be compelled by the message. Maybe they would even stay for the food afterwards, and we would invite them to church. It was a perfect plan – but we all know how those normally go!
The week before the service, the forecast called for rain – and a lot of it! The normally sunny skies had a 100% chance of rain during our service time.
All week we received calls and texts asking what we planned to do about it.
We had already cancelled our rental for the school activity center. Plus, we were preaching on Gideon trusting God in the midst of insurmountable odds. It was just like God to make us practice what we preach!
As the rain poured all through Saturday and into Sunday, we prayed… and then we questioned… and then we had faith again. It was all very exhausting!
We packed up our car and drove up to the park just as the rain turned into more of a cold drizzle. We set-up and got ready for this warm, dry service we truly felt God had promised to us.
Then, about 20 minutes before the service, right at the last minute, the clouds parted and sunshine broke out - only on the park! Literally, people left their house where it was pouring rain to find it dry and warm at the park.
The entire service was a perfect temperature and an hour after we left, it began to rain again.
This is not an original miracle. We know of times in the Bible and we have heard other churches share of moments when God has altered the weather for His purposes. Maybe God has done this for you as well.
For our church, adults and kids shared how this service encouraged their faith and strengthened their prayer life. Even though the park wasn’t crowded with people, we made some great connections with those who were there.
God’s plan was better than ours.
The greatest lesson I learned from that day is that breakthrough can happen in the most unexpected ways and at the most unexpected moments!
To be honest, I really expected God to turn the weather before Sunday morning. We were praying for the rain to stop by midnight – but it didn’t. Then, we were praying for the rain to stop by breakfast, and then by lunch… but it only rained harder.
Do you ever feel like that in church planting?
“THIS is going to be the week He breaks out in our worship!” – but, it isn’t.
“THIS is going to be the outreach that opens doors into our community!” – but, it isn’t.
“THIS is going to be the year the church will be financially stable!” – but it just gets harder.
Why did God have to wait until 20 minutes before service to part the clouds? Because He wanted to teach me something: He is faithful to His promises, and none of the circumstances around me will change that truth.
Has God given you a promise for spiritual growth in your community? Nothing can make that less-true. People leaving the church, conflict in your leadership, or anything else. Your job – church planter – is to pray, encourage the team around you, and hold on!
Don’t forget, if you are waiting for a breakthrough in your life or church, you aren’t alone. It may be at the last possible moment and it may not be the way we expect it to play out, but God loves a dramatic entrance!
After all, this is His show.
Catie Naranjo and her husband, Jeremy, planted Summit Church in Anthem, AZ in 2015. They have two amazing kids, a grumpy cat, and are honored to be called by God to build His church.