United Church of God

Letter From Ben Light - November 4, 2022

Letter From Ben Light

November 4, 2022

Pastor's Corner - November 4th, 2022

As I write this Pastor's Corner, the rain is pitter-pattering on the patio awning outside my office. If I'm being totally transparent, it's a lot less of a pitter patter, and a lot more of a torrential downpour. Oregon is experiencing a weather event this weekend that the meteorologists are referring to as an 'atmospheric river.' 

Rain totals are predicted to be anywhere between 1-4 inches in the valley, with potentially as many as 3-6 on the coast with some of the first snowfalls of the year taking place in the mountains. They got this one right, it's an atmospheric river alright, and it's pretty miserable out there, with some water levels in the streams and rivers rising quick.

It's been a pretty hot and dry year so far. We were commenting to folks in Puerto Vallarta at the Feast that it felt weird leaving Oregon in October (80ish degrees) to come to Mexico with 80 degree weather, that normally - we would be coming from weather in the 40's and 50's, and returning to the same.

It's been a hot and dry year.

This year, the lack of rain has been noticeable in ways that may not be as apparent to most. Rain is one of the necessary things to bring fish up the rivers. Fall Chinook, Coho, need rising river levels to get the natural signal to move upriver, and begin biting. Usually by the first part of October, they're moving into the tributaries and the fishing is fantastic on the coast. This year, the coastal rivers were a fish desert, with the majority of fish not really starting to move upriver until the past week or so as the rains have picked back up, the nutrients they bring upriver, the food they provide to the wildlife, and of course, their own reproduction is dependent on the fall rain.

Additionally, the rivers and waterways in Oregon collect a great deal of downed trees, branches, leaf litter, and much more over the drier summer months. It takes one good, solid rain, one big flush to clean those rivers out and to run that stuff downriver, enabling the rivers to flow unencumbered and clean like they're intended to flow. Without the rain, and sometimes the substantial rains of the fall... this simply doesn't happen.

It waters the trees and forests, crops, fills the lakes, reservoirs, provides the necessary snow caps to store water into the late spring months. It's such an incredible blessing, even though, walking outside into it blowing sideways didn't FEEL like much of a blessing.

After Noah left the Ark, God made a covenant with His creation. That as long as Earth remained, there would be seedtime and harvest, winter and summer, cold and heat. 

Genesis 9:20

20 Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21 And the LORD smelled a soothing aroma. Then the LORD said in His heart, "I will never again curse the ground for man's sake, although the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done.

    22      "While the earth remains,
    Seedtime and harvest,
    Cold and heat,
    Winter and summer,
    And day and night
    Shall not cease."

These cycles which God created would be maintained. Yet as time went on, we see that God could withhold the rain to get Israel's attention, or pour it out at its appointed times in blessing. 

We are thankful for the blessing of rain, and perhaps as a punctuation to that point, it just began raining a bit harder here at the Light home. God is good.

Have a Happy Sabbath!

With Love,