Eastern Montana’s McCone County settles in for another anxious night. Possible dry thunderstorms with lightning threaten to ignite the prairie’s parched grass.
Once again playing lookout for any possible lightning-caused wildfires, Randy sits perched on top of the highest hill on his ranch. Watching from his pickup truck with a full 500-gallon water tank resting in the back, he’s on patrol until dawn on this stormy night.
Around midnight, the storm seems to be moving to the south and east, and Randy’s eyes leave the prairie for a quick moment. An opening in the dark clouds allows him to view the midnight’s constellation, which brings a welcome break in his concentration. He still has several hours to go until the early morning light will signal the end of his nightly chore.
Sitting alone, Randy’s thoughts speak to the Lord in the heaven’s cosmos. Opening up to his Father in prayer, he offers praise and thanks for the quiet night. He also prays for his neighbors and their continued faith and perseverance.
Suddenly realizing the time, Randy brings his eyes back to the darkened landscape. To the east, the beginning of a new day is peeking just over the horizon. Rubbing his eyes, he looks forward to a short morning nap when he arrives back at the family home.
For the first time in many nights, he feels a different kind of peace covering the land. The latest forecast for the coming night calls for a bit of rain with cooler temperatures and little wind. Amen!