AN AMAZING FACT: You have probably heard the expression “raining cats and dogs.” While there is no record of the sky ever showering canines and felines, other creatures have rained from the sky. For example, on March 5, 2000, farmers tending their fields in southern Ethiopia reported seeing, and smelling, an unusual downpour on their drought-stricken land. Suddenly they were being pelted by millions of falling fish. For a country crippled by famine, this was a welcome and unexpected answer to their prayers.
Reports of falling fish, frogs, tomatoes, and even coal date back to antiquity. In the first century, Pliny the Elder mentioned storms of frogs and fish. Jellyfish reportedly fell from the sky in Bath, England, in 1894. Worms dropped from the sky in Jennings, Louisiana, on July 11, 2007, and spiders fell out of the sky on April 6, 2007, in Salta Province, Argentina!
The phrase “It’s raining cats and dogs” probably comes from an era when animals walked on the thatched roofs of homes that became soft during rainstorms, and the household pet came through the roof. Actually, most countries have strange expressions for heavy rain. In Bosnia they say, “It’s raining crowbars.” In Czech it’s “wheelbarrows,”
and the Dutch say, “It’s raining like kittens.” That’s probably better than the Serbians, who refer to “axes,” or the Welsh, who speak of it raining like “old ladies and sticks!”
Meteorologists say it is more common than you might think for cloud bursts to open and release a hail of small fish, snails, or tadpoles. Weather experts explain these freak showers occur because powerful updrafts generated during thunderstorms form mini-tornadoes. If the storm brews out at sea, or crosses a river or lake, the tornado can suck up small fish or frogs swimming close to the surface. These water spouts can then carry away the raptured creatures and deposit them several miles away. Sometimes while still alive! In 1930 an eight-inch turtle fell from the sky during a storm in Mississippi.
The Bible teaches that when Jesus returns the saved will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. But many Christians misunderstand how this will happen. Unlike the popular notion that Christians will be raptured before Christ returns, the Bible teaches that when Jesus comes and the dead in Christ rise, “Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thessalonians 4:17).
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. Hebrews 11:13