Dew From Heaven
By Maria Keckler
“I will be like the dew to Israel...” ~ Hosea 14:5
Have you ever considered the miracle of morning dew? Some parts of the world depend on it. Palestine, for example, sees no rain between May and October. The heat is so intense and the ground so hard that all vegetation would perish without the life-giving moisture of dew. Certainly, God sees to it that no one can take credit for the land’s survival — the west winds must carry moisture from the sea, and the change of temperature must be rapid and drastic to condense the moisture in the air into droplets that water every plant.
My husband, Sam, and I have certainly felt like the land of Palestine during its season of drought. The year 1992 comes to mind. Just two months after our daughter was born, I had left my job to be a full-time mom. It was also the year Sam lost his job eleven times in twelve months…
The year the bank repossessed our brand-new, recently paid-off Ford Bronco because we could not afford to pay a $4,000 balloon payment for one year of insurance that was added after a small accident (long story)…
The year I blew the engine on our old Plymouth — our remaining working car — while driving in 105-degree weather without air conditioning, with our baby girl wilting in the back seat…
The year Sam blew the engine on an old donated station wagon...
The year a bicycle found in a dumpster became Sam’s only mode of transportation, yet it was stolen a week later…
The year Sam slept on our friends’ couch for weeks and borrowed their truck to come home to us on weekends…
The year I cried every time the phone rang, knowing it was either a bill collector or Sam calling to tell me he had been laid off again…
The year we had twenty dollars in our pocket, an overdrawn bank account, and an eviction notice on the table notifying us that we had ten days to pay $1,300 in back rent.
Day after day I cried out to God, echoing the words of Habakkuk, “How long, O Lord, must I call for help, but You do not listen?” (Hab. 1:2a). As a new Christian, I wanted to believe that the Father whom I had just welcomed into my heart was not a figment of my imagination —that His love for His children was real.
Sam and I were about to find out that God was doing something, just like in the days of Habakkuk when He responded, “Be astonished! Wonder! Because I am doing something in your days ? you would not believe, even if you were told” (Hab. 1:5b). It’s true. Had He told us what He was doing in our lives, I would not have believed it. So He had to show us. He had to let us experience His dew from heaven. If I had to summarize those amazing years, it would look something like this: Decline defeat. Expect the extraordinary. Wait on His will.
Sam was laid off ten times when ten tire stores closed. We knew if he lost one more job, we would be in deep trouble. There were no more tire store chains! When it finally happened, Sam walked into the house carrying the full weight of shame and defeat on his shoulders. My anxiety over the eviction notice we had just received was only shadowed by the ache in my heart when I saw the pain in my husband’s eyes that said he felt less than a man for not being able to provide for his wife and newborn child.
A childlike faith erupted within me. “God loves us! He would not throw us out on the street!” I shouted. A fire within me ignited and began to consume my thoughts. With a quick preamble, “Please don’t say ‘no’ until you hear me out,” I hosed Sam down with ideas that took shape the minute I opened my mouth. We would pawn his shotgun, rifle, and my wedding ring—which we would get back, I assured him. With the money, we would start a “husband and wife” cleaning business. It would not take much; we had a shelf full of cleaning products from previous years as Amway distributors. “Honey!” I said. “Everyone will love us! We will be the most professional, hard-working, and trustworthy cleaning team ever!”
Within an hour, we walked out of the pawnshop with $180 in our pocket. We spent $80 on groceries, diapers, baby formula, and a tank of gas. We spent $30 for layout and printing of 1,000 bright yellow fliers, and then used $20 to buy matching shorts, T-shirts, and old towels at the local thrift store. We spent the rest on essential tools for a new cleaning business—buckets, squeegees, brooms, and a mop.
Expect the Extraordinary
Our first prayer went something like this: “Lord, we know you will take care of our needs, but we want to ask for a miracle this week. We need $1,300 in seven days, or we will be evicted. Will you direct our steps? Will you bless our new business?”
Had God told me to look for His refreshing dew on windows, I would probably have said, “Huh?” but that’s what He did. Two days later, while attending a potluck, an old acquaintance asked us, “What are you doing these days?” We told her our story, minus the prayer request. “What a coincidence,” she said. “I’m getting ready to show a building I manage to prospective renters. I need to have the inside windows of twelve floors cleaned,” she said. “Would you be interested?”
“Of course,” I said before Sam had the chance to analyze the situation and although we had no prior experience cleaning windows. The next morning we sat in her office and confessed that we had never bid for a job before. She quickly turned to her computer and typed one for us. “I want you to win the bid,” she said, “so you need to come in lower than the company we’ve used for years. Could you do it for this amount?” She handed us the paper. Bid amount: $1,300.
For six consecutive nights, Sam and I cleaned windows and glass office partitions from 6:00 p.m. until 3:00 a.m., talking about God’s goodness until we were too tired to scrub, squeegee, and talk at the same time. I had never felt so tired and refreshed at the same time, and this was just the beginning of the journey!
Wait on His Will
What happened in the next few months was nothing short of extraordinary. I wish I could say that during those months I was a model of trust and faith every minute of every day. I wasn’t. God was taking care of our needs on a daily basis, but the provision often came at the last minute. The $1,300 check, for instance, was cut only minutes before our eviction deadline. Our friend had to pull several strings to produce immediate payment rather than waiting for the customary 30-day billing period.
For someone who likes to be in control, waiting on the Lord is never pleasant. That was a lesson I needed to learn. It is a lesson that has, more than any other, served me well.
When I first read the story of the Israelites’ journey in the desert after God delivered them from slavery, I said, “Why would they doubt, grumble, and complain so much when they just saw God part the Red Sea and shower them with manna from heaven?” They were, like Sam and me, utterly human creatures getting reacquainted with the faithfulness of their Father. God knew that only in the desert, devoid of everything that gave them a false sense of security, would they realize that when He promised to take care of them, He was telling the truth.
It’s hard to believe so many years have passed since those tumultuous struggles. Sam and I can reminisce on that chapter of our 21 years of marriage with special fondness because God continues to use the lessons we learned to give us and others hope during turbulent times.