Did you know that the Mississippi River moves an average of 450,000 cubic feet of water every second? Yet the Mississippi is only the 5th largest river in the world by volume and has only 8% of the outflow of the Amazon River.
With all that water flowing into oceans around the world, why don’t coastal cities get flooded? Because of the hydrological or water cycle. Evaporation, transportation, and precipitation participate in a never-ending cycle within our atmosphere. (See last week’s post on how God separated the waters and created the sky.) I could give you a scientific textbook description of the process … or simply let the ancient words of the Bible describe the observable cycle for me.
“All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the steams come from, there they return again.” (Eccl. 1:7 NIV) “If the clouds are full of water, they pour rain upon the earth.” (Eccl. 11:3a NIV) “… Who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out over the face of the land–the LORD is his name.” (Amos 9:6 NIV) “He wraps up the waters in his clouds, yet the clouds do not burst under their weight.” (Job 26:8 NIV) “He draws up the drops of water, which distill as rain to the streams; the clouds pour down their moisture and abundant showers fall on mankind.” (Job 36:27-28 NIV)
In separating the waters from the sky, God still created a process for water to move through the atmosphere and water the future vegetation He would create. Now, while there are valid arguments that true rain as we know it didn’t fall on the earth until Noah and the Flood (Genesis 2:5-6; 7:11-12), there still was a mist or fog that rose to water the plants similar to what still happens in modern-day rain forests.
Beyond the technical logistics of relative humidity, the vaporization/condensation point, and cloud formation, I’m amazed at the efficiency of the water cycle. Nothing is wasted. Not a single water molecule is lost in the process. Each plays a role and each is used multiple times in multiple ways.
“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:10-11 NIV)
“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20 NIV)
When I consider a God who created a dependable system to purify and transport water around the Earth for thousands of years without wasting a single drop, I discover a deeper trust that He has a perfect plan for my life and will not waste a single experience.
Even when it rains.
What about you? Are there periods of rain in your life? Have those experiences ever been used later to encourage someone else?