by Heather Bock
I like to prayer walk in the mornings. Starting out on my walk, I ask God if He’d be willing to join me. I take my prayer cards with me–reminders of requests for which I regularly pray–but I also spend time just talking to God, thanking Him, crying out to Him, and asking for help.
One morning a few weeks ago, I couldn’t bear to bring up the requests on my cards. I barely knew what to say to Him except, “I’m sorry; I’m so sorry.”
Before I had been able to get out the door that morning, my oldest son had detained me, asking for help with his math. Much needed, summer math work in our home is review from the year, and this particular page was filled with problems we’ve gone over together many times with seemingly no progress: improper fractions. I had bordered on impatience the last time we had worked on it together, and probably the not-enough sleep, no breakfast, and a selfish desire to be out the door didn’t help this time.
I treated that poor boy with a lack of respect that probably made him feel less than smart–less than capable to take on improper fractions, in fact.
Finally finishing the page of offending numbers, I strode out that door into my time with God, my impatience instantly dropping to my feet, leaving me with only regret.
I made it around one block before I came back in to find my boy so I could apologize for my behavior and remind him how smart he truly is. My guilt, however, didn’t stop trailing along with me as I resumed my walk.
That was when the clouds let loose, and rain began to pour down on me, washing these words into my head:
“He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”
It’s funny how in our culture we often think this means He sends blessings and curses to all, as if the sun is good and the rain is bad. If it’s a sunny day, we say we’re having great weather, but a rainy day is gloomy or nasty. Think about it, though. In the time of the New Testament, many who would have heard these words would have been farmers or at least close enough to fields to have understood that without rain, crops will fail. Rain is just as much of a blessing as the sun is.
Rain is grace.
As I walked through the downpour, letting it drench me to the skin, I let the grace and forgiveness symbolized by the rain soak into my soul.
Did I deserve forgiveness for treating my son in an unkind way? No. Did I feel good about treating him that way, even after I asked for forgiveness from him and from God? Not at all. But I needed to believe in and accept God’s grace, freely given to the righteous and unrighteous.
God’s grace is available to you, too, for all levels of faults and failures. If it’s hard for you to accept it, I hope you’ll give those wrongdoings to Him and let the rain of His grace pour all over you, soaking you in His love.