A Word of Encouragement from Elizabeth Rice Handford

Last week, I found myself thinking, “When it rains, it pours.” I was beset by all kinds of problems. I needed a new house cleaner. A pipe broke in my bathroom; another in my sprinkler system. The roof over the guest bathroom leaked. And most worrying, the mid-term national elections were looming.

But all that pouring water turned out to be a great comfort, because my Heavenly Father, who sent that gushing rain also sent wonderful tokens of His love. The new woman I hired to clean my house was a first-generation U.S. citizen from Russia/Ukraine. Her son and daughter, both in their late teens, did a fine job of cleaning. They worked conscientiously, intelligently, and cheerfully. I was reminded that there are thousands more of American young people who work hard, study well, and live moral lives. Why don’t the media spotlight them, rather than the addicts, the rioters, the looters, the immoral punks we hear so much about?

The house cleaners showed me a new leak in the bathroom. I phoned the roofing company we’ve used for 50 years. The grandson, now the owner, came promptly and sent a competent, cheerful man to fix the roof. I didn’t even ask for a quote. Like his father and grandfather, the grandson was trustworthy and reasonable. There are thousands of American tradespeople like him, who day after day do honest, professional work at reasonable cost, live uncomplaining lives and honor their commitments at home. Why do we hear only of the perverts, the cheaters, and the thieves the news media focus on?

As the roofer finished, the exterminator came to make his yearly inspection for termites. Both men are committed Christians, so we three had a pleasant conversation about the goodness of our God. After the roofer drove off, the technician crawled into the space under the house in muddy darkness. I apologized for the dirtiness of the job. He grinned. “No problem.” Like countless other American workers, he took pleasure in doing a hard task.

Then the plumber came to fix the broken pipe in my bathroom. He is a Christian and a family friend. He worked cheerfully, quickly, and professionally. How many thousands of Americans handle their jobs with the same sort of dependable service!

A neighbor called another neighbor about a gusher in my sprinkler system. (I couldn’t see it from the house.) She called a third neighbor, a new neighbor I’d never met, who volunteered to fix it for me. And he did fix it, beautifully and professionally. How kind, how good, how honorable are countless millions of American neighbors who look after each other. How different they are from what the headlines indicate!

But would the mid-elections coming up cause major strife? No. There were no riots, no harmful demonstrations, no major problems. We Americans were given the great privilege of voting for our leaders, and we did it. And if not all the people I voted for won, God was still in charge. “The authorities that exist have been established by God” (Romans 13:1). So when it rained last week, it poured—it poured out God’s wonderful concern and care for this dear country!

The unfailing love of the LORD never ends!
By His mercies we have been kept from complete destruction.
Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each day. . . .
The LORD is wonderfully good
to those who wait for Him and seek Him. Lamentations 3:22-25

Yes! When it rains, it pours, so get out your umbrella and enjoy God’s extravagant goodness!