In the early 1970’s my family purchased a bluebonnet covered 4 acre lot on a windy hill just south of Round Rock, Texas and had a home built there. We lived on that property for more than 20 years. The only trees on the property were a few scraggly hackberries along the barbed wire fence bordering the dirt road which ran by the property. Eventually we were able to plant several live oaks and coax them to survive in the heavy clay like soil.
From the back porch of the home we could see the spire of the Palm Valley Lutheran Church along Highway 79 in Round Rock. To the south of the home we could see another hill, similar to ours – mostly barren, except for the fence line hugging hackberry trees and the ever present scrub grass. Just south of that hill was the growing suburban city of Pflugerville.
What was most interesting about our location on that windy hill was our being able to enjoy the majesty of the changing sky. In the fall we could watch as the growing thunderclouds, which announced cold fronts, marched slowly our way. In the summer we could see the thunderclouds coming in off the Gulf of Mexico bringing much needed rain to Central Texas.
Our home in Round Rock had a well which served us for our water supply. When we first moved to that windy hill, the water level in the well was less than 50 feet down. As the years passed and Round Rock expanded, the pump had to be dropped again and again, as the city drew water from the same aquifer, until our pump was nearly 350 feet below ground level – quite a change in 20 years.
Summers in Central Texas are usually quite dry, so we limited outdoor watering during the summer season. Eventually we added a 5000 gallon water tank to draw and store water when it was more available during the spring. There were few options for us if we ran out of water. It might have been possible to buy water and have it delivered, but even that was questionable during the dry summers.
The lack of water and the infrequent summer rains led to great anxiety for me. One spring I had planted marigolds in the small planting area near our front sidewalk. The plants thrived and the blooms were glorious in the spring, but once summer came, the plants began to dry out and die.
I prayed daily that God would send us one of the summer storms from the Gulf of Mexico to supplement our meager water supply. The storms often came tantalizingly close, just to skirt around us when the clouds seemed just a mile away and reform and rain heavily north of us over Round Rock. This scenario played out day after day until one day I lost all hope to save my precious blooming marigolds.
I ripped the plants out of the ground in a fit of anger as I saw another of the summer storms approach. I said to myself – “once again it won’t rain here, I don’t know why I even asked the Lord to help.” In my head I heard the following words loudly and clearly: “You don’t think I can do it, do you, Franciene?” The voice was from Someone who seemed to be laughing, as if God Himself was amazed at my lack of faith and my frequent emotional outbursts, and found it amusing.
Having recognized that the voice came from outside of me and Who was speaking to me, I wanted to find the nearest black hole and lose myself in it. Not having such a hole nearby I asked for the Lord’s forgiveness and have never forgotten the lesson He taught me that day.
The rain didn’t come on that day, but the storms did rain on us the next day. Sadly, It was too late for the marigolds, as by then I had tossed the dried out nearly dead plants in the recycle bin.
The questions I ask myself as I remember this incident: “ Have I grown in trust of the Lord since then? Do I understand that God answers prayers – and always answers prayers – according to His schedule and His will and not mine?”
I am still overly emotional. I want things when I want them. I am impatient and selfish. In short, I am a flawed human being and always will be. I repent each night of my thoughts and deeds which did not come up to God’s will for me. I frequently disappoint our God, but for some unknowable reason, He still loves me. For that I am thankful and always will be.