I recently returned home to Nebraska after a few weeks away for a singing gig and the weather greeted me with rain. Lots and lots of rain.
My drive back mainly consisted of farmland and I think that’s why when it rained for so long, I thought of Matthew 5:45, where Jesus says:
…For He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. (ESV)
Sometimes, there is a lie that creeps into my mind and I don’t realize it influences my thoughts until I speak it out loud. This happened recently when I was talking with a dear friend.
It is important to have people in life who will challenge you.
We don’t get to talk as often as either of us would like, but it is meaningful when we do. She asked how Daniel and I were doing and if there was any news about pregnancy. After I filled her in, I mentioned something in passing that I can’t even recall. The root of the comment was the feeling that we don’t yet have kids because we aren’t good enough.
She quickly reminded me that those thoughts don’t line up with the character of God and are contrary to grace.
Here’s the thing: I know that. I knew that when she said it. Even typing the sentence above feels absurd because I cognitively know that I don’t receive gifts based on how good or bad I am. Yet, somehow the lie that we are being punished or we aren’t good enough crept in and took root. I doubt it presented itself as clearly as I see it now, but it wasn’t until she challenged me that I identified it as a lie.
But the truth is,
God gives to us when we are unworthy.
He gives to us when we think we are worthy.
He gives to those who are just, those who are unjust.
He gives to those who love Him, those who hate Him.
He gives to those who are bad, those who are good.
He gives to those who thank Him for the gifts
and to those who thank themselves in return.
Common grace for all.
I’m thankful for that friend who reminded me of truth. God’s grace is not something that I receive because I am finally worthy of it.
No, that is not grace. His kingdom doesn’t operate the way I imagine it to.
And trust me when I say, that is a very good thing.