This past weekend I participated in the American Cancer Society Relay for Life in Hoquiam, Washington. If you are at all familiar with this area of the country, you know that it rains, a lot, in Hoquiam. It is in Grays Harbor, which is actually named for Captain Gray, but the name fits the usual weather patterns for the area.
The event is outside, though we did have a tent. But to really participate you have to spend a lot of time walking around a track, and if it is raining you are going to get wet and cold. I don’t like to be either of these things. So last week I began to pray (and I am sure I was not the only one), and one of the things I prayed for was no rain for the event. I did bring my raincoat, and was ready for rain, but I had prayed for no rain and was confident God would be faithful to bless all those who give up their time and energy for this important fundraising event.
When I left my house in Oregon on Friday morning for the 2 1/2 hour drive to my sister’s house, it was raining. Most of the way up I-5 it was raining. But as I turned off onto Highway 12 towards Grays Harbor, the rain stopped. When I arrived at my sister’s, there were clouds but no rain. By the time we arrived at the event site in Hoquiam at 4:30 Friday afternoon, not only was there no rain, there were blue skies! The evening was fabulous. That night I slept a bit in the tent, and awoke at 5:30 a.m. to bright sunshine coming into the tent. The skies were blue and the sun shone all day long. When we left the site at 6:15 p.m. on Saturday it was 74 degrees!!
Our team raised over $2,000, and the event as a whole raised over $460,000 towards research to cure cancer and improve the lives of those touched by cancer. The whole event was amazing.
I stayed the night at my sister’s on Saturday night. When I woke up Sunday morning and looked outside, it was pouring down rain. And it rained non-stop on my drive home to Oregon. Who says God doesn’t have a sense of humor?
When I got home, I changed my verse of the week to James 1:5-6, which says:
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
In this instance, I did not doubt, though I had every reason to. And God was faithful to provide the perfect weather to lift the spirits of those who walked in memory and honor of loves ones who have battled cancer.
Other prayers were answered this weekend as well. First, I had opportunities to share my faith with others in a way that was welcomed, and God gave me the right words. Second, I prayed that I would not be in pain today because of all the walking. When I participated in this event last year, I felt awful on Monday and could not stay at work all day. But this year, I’m fine and in no more discomfort than I would have been without participating in the Relay for Life. Third, I got to spend some great quality time with my sister, who I don’t see enough of. It was a wonderful weekend that I praise God for. I can’t wait until we get to do it again next year!