The Standard July 14, 2022
The Johnny Appleseed blessing, sung before meals at countless church camps and around many Scout campfires, is often a favorite way for children to say grace. “Oh, the Lord is good to me And so I thank the Lord For giving me the things I need The sun and the rain and the apple seed. Oh, the Lord is good to me.” Today in eastern North Carolina we can be especially thankful for recent rain after a period of drought conditions.
“Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit. The LORD sustains the humble but casts the wicked to the ground. Sing to the LORD with grateful praise; make music to our God on the harp. He covers the sky with clouds; he supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills. He provides food for the cattle and for the young ravens when they call.” (Psalm 147:5-9)
In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus taught, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:43-48)
Provisions like sunshine and rain are often referred to as stemming from the “common” or “universal” grace of God. Those who follow God’s ways and those who do not both benefit from numerous divine blessings on a daily basis. Lord willing, more and more people will recognize this.
After Barnabas and Paul had just healed a lame man in Lystra, the crowds assumed they were gods. Horrified, the apostles tried to correct the misunderstanding. “We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made the heavens and the earth and the sea and everything in them. In the past, he let all nations go their own way. Yet he has not left himself without testimony. He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.” (Acts 14:15-17)
We see God’s testimony and goodness all around us every day. Today, let’s thank God for the rain.