Once upon a Saturday the road trip was planned, the route was mapped, the picnic was packed, and some very excited boys were slathered with sunscreen and clutching sand pails and shovels.
The drive was filled with sandcastle dreams and deep sea planning and there was never a happier coastal bound carload.
Prayers had been poured out for years to be back close to the ocean and God answered the desire of their hearts.
The ocean awaited them, just a day trip away.
The best part of a waterfront excursion is the first glimpse of the wide expanse of water beckoning as you arrive. The gentle waves tossed in play and the boys wiggled to get free. Their giddy toes flew across the sand towards the water's edge.
And then the Heavens opened.
Lightning flashed, thunder peeled, and the rain poured.
Sweet little faces clouded over in pure ache as tears left trails through the unneeded sunscreen.
The car was once again filled, but this time with the deepest heartache a child could express from mourning the end of an adventure.
The backseat pleaded not to drive away but to just sit and watch the rain pelt the surface of the sea.
And that's when faith from our boy, the teary eyed four year old, spoke through the thunder, "Let's pray."
"Dear God, I know you created the Heaven and the Earth and you made everything. You made the rain today, but please can you stop it. I really wanted to go swimming and digging in the sand. But even if you don't stop the rain, I will praise you because I love you. In Jesus Name, Amen."
And so they drove, just up the coastline meandering through
seaside cottages and back streets of historic homes.
They ate their picnic lunch from car seats and the picnic blanket remained folded in the trunk.
The rain poured through the gray blanket over the water and thunder continued to sound out across the sky.
And faith grew in the backseat that God would stop the rain and he begged us to just stay a little longer. "Don't worry Bud," the Daddy said, "we aren't going anywhere."
And for some reason, in spite of the clouds the car load was perfectly content to watch the rippled surface of the waters.
And that's when it moved...that's when faith moved.
That's when faith moved the rainstorms.
In the distance a brighter spot fought desperately to escape it's cloudy prison and the faith continued to grow. They made a dash through the rain into a beach shop to create some fun of exploring through overpriced picture frames and table lamps. The parents kept careful watch of that growing hope in the sky.
The spot turned from gray to white. It grew from distant to right above. And then the blue broke free and victoriously screamed it's freedom all the way to the watery horizon.
The sun chased away the blustery chilling rain and warmed the sand to invite us in as we all literally ran out of that shop and onto the beach that now stood drenched in a beautiful summer's day.
Our once broken hearted boy now danced along the water's edge in pure joy unlike I've ever seen. The kind of joy that belongs before the throne of his Maker.
The kind of joy that pours directly from a heart overflowing with thankfulness.
The kind of joy that had faith to move rainstorms but was willing to find contentment in the storm.
And the Daddy lead them in prayer, right there on the warm sand that had been pooled in rain puddles just minutes before. They thanked their Heavenly Father for choosing to stop the rain and providing them a day at the beach. They praised Him for granting a little boy's heart's desire, the little boy who's heart was grown enough in faith to know God alone could stop the rainstorms.
And the sky had never been more blue and water had never been more inviting as the sand castle dreams took shape and waves were conquered. The day that faith moved rainstorms has been branded onto their hearts. The oceanfront has always been where they felt God closest, but their Abba-sent sunshine gift that provided a seaside worship service and set their four year old dancing for joy in the presence of His Maker made this place truly magnificent.
And they lived sandy and salt sprayed
ever after for the rest of the day.