We’ve been getting some much-needed rain the last couple of days, and it feels wonderful. I love the breeze we get right before the rain and the coolness in the air right after. It’s like suddenly these 100+ degree days disappear for a while, and we can breathe again.
When it’s been as hot as it has around here, one can’t help but to play in it!
When I was thinking about posting these rain pictures, I thought of the words of Jesus about God raining on the just and the unjust. I was reminded of what my mom brought to my attention several years ago about this passage from Matthew 5:
You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
So often, when something bad happens in someone’s life, you’ll hear people say, “Well, you know God lets it rain on the just and the unjust,” and because of the circumstances and their tone you can tell they mean this in a negative way. In Mercy Me’s “Bring the Rain,” it is looked at that the rain is a dark cloud that looms above, but that is what it takes to bring them to praise Him. While that’s a good point – sometimes we have to suffer in order to grow closer to God – that’s not what this scripture is about.
For a day at the beach or a picnic, sure, rain is not something you want to see. For an agrarian society (kind of like our little homestead), however, the people longed for and prayed for rain. It’s something we have longed for (especially after our last water bill where we were watering the garden regularly). Rain is a good thing!
Jesus wasn’t saying that God lets bad things happen to good people and bad people. Just the opposite: God sends sunshine (or rain, in this case) for those who are righteous as well as those who are not.
It’s like my pastor pointed out this past Sunday, it’s all about context, context, context. We have to go back to the beginning of the passage to find out what Jesus was trying to say:
…love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,…”
Love, bless, do good, and pray…not just for the people you love, but for your enemies, too. That is God’s way. When we do the same, we show ourselves to be “sons of the father,” demonstrating God’s love, God’s way. He blesses (rains on) not only us (the worthy ones, haha…that’s sarcasm) but also those around us (the ones we don’t feel deserve it). So, bask in and be humbled by his goodness, knowing that while “our” blessings from the Lord may happen to bless someone else, His goodness leads to repentance (Rom. 2:4).
Help us, Lord, to be like you, to love like you, to bless like you, to be your hands and feet.