I’m sure you’ve heard the expression that it’s raining cats and dogs, but have you ever wondered if that could really happen?
No really knows for sure how the expression got started. Like evolution, there are a number of theories as to the origin of the expression, but like evolution none can be proven to be true. Here are several of these theories:
- Centuries ago, some cultures believed that animals represented different parts of nature and weather. In these cultures, cats represented rain and dogs represented wind. So when it was raining cats and dogs, it meant that it was storming with lots of rain and winds.
- At one time, many homes, especially in Europe had thatched roofs. Animals such as cats, dogs, chickens, ducks, etc. would often spend time on the roofs. In heavy rains, the thatch would become water soaked and soft, causing the heavier cats and dogs to fall through the roof, thus the expression raining cats and dogs referred to a rain storm heavy enough to cause the animals to fall through the thatched roofs.
- In the days before sewers and garbage collection, people would throw their garbage and dead pets outside the village. When strong rain storms would occur it would wash a lot of the sewage, garbage and dead animals down the hill and into the city streets. It took a strong storm to accomplish this, so the expression raining cats and dogs referred to a storm strong enough to wash the dead carcasses into the streets.
However, did you know that there have been instances where real animals have rained down from the skies? Most of these instances are associated with tornados and water spouts (water spouts are tornados that move over water). The tornados/water sprouts suck up many things in their paths – water, dirt, debris and small animals. Eventually all of the stuff that went up has to come down and that includes the water, dirt, debris and animals
Some of the recorded instances of raining animals include:
- 1844 – Frogs rained down on an English village
- 1861 – Fish rained down in Singapore
- 1869 – A unidentified animal that had been torn to pieces fell from the sky in California
- 1876 – A another unidentified animal in pieces rained down in Bath County, Kentucky
- 1894 – Jellyfish rained down in Bath, England
- 1900 – Fish rained down in Olneyville, Rhode Island
- 1947 – Fish rained down in Marksville, Louisiana
- 1984 – Six inch long flounders rained down on London England
- 2000 – Fish rained down on Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England
- 2007 – Worms rained down on Jennings, Louisiana
- 2007 – Spiders rained down on Salta Province, Argentina
- 2009 – Frogs and toads rained down on Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan
- 2009 – Fish rained down on Bhanwad, Jamnagar, India
- 2010 – Frogs and toads rained down twice on Rákóczifalva, Hungary
- 2010 – Fish rained down on Lajamanu, Northern Territory, Australia
- 2011 – Worms rained down on a PE class in Scotland on a clear day
- 2011 – Orange eggs from some kind of invertebrate rained down in Kivalina, Alaska
As you can see, there have been a number of different creatures and strange objects that have rained down from the skies, and in the case of the worms raining down on the Scottish children, it can even happen on a clear day. Yet when the Bible records something different raining down from the skies, many critics point to the incident and claim the Bible is false.
In Exodus 16, we read about the Israelites wandering in the desert when God caused manna to fall from the sky. The manna was described as flakes as thin as the frost that tasted like honey. God told His people to gather up just what they could eat in one day, but no more. Day after day, the manna appeared, feeding the people for some time.
Bible skeptics try to say that the manna was some kind of substance that perhaps was made by insects or even a tree resin that dripped down. But God Himself said that it rained down from heaven. It was His gift to feed his people while they were in the wilderness.
The next time you hear someone talk about it raining cats and dogs, or anything else from the sky, I hope you remember how God fed the Israelites in the desert by having it rain down manna from heaven.
From interaction with their peers to the instruction and correction that they receive at home, children interpret their experience from a worldview that seeks to answer their fundamental questions: Who am I? What do I exist for? Where can I find joy?
As parents, we need to be providing our children with a consistent, persuasive, and biblical framework for understanding the world God has made and their place in it. The instruction that we provide for them should not only inform their mind; it should be directed towards persuading their hearts of the wisdom and truthfulness of Gods ways. We must impress truth on our children’s hearts, not to control or manage them, but to point them to the greatest joy and happiness that they can experiencedelighting in God and the goodness of his ways.
Instructing a Childs Heart is an essential follow-up to Tedd Tripp’s previous bestseller, Shepherding a Childs Heart. This book gives practical instruction aimed at helping parents instruct their children in ways that will persuade them of God’s wisdom. Instead of focusing solely on changing a child’s behavior, the authors help us to look at the heart of the child. Point your child toward the happiness they will find from doing things God’s way!
“This book brings the Bible into the parents’ lives in a fresh way. It is one thing to say that parents must use the Bible for parenting. It is another thing to show how that is actually done. Instructing a Child’s Heartprovides practical, real life instruction on how to do just that.” John Younts (Author of Everyday Talk)
“Tedd and Margy Tripps Instructing a Childs Heart is a biblical and practical sequel to Shepherding a Childs Heart.” Marvin Olasky (Editor-in-Chief, WORLD Magazine)