"Grace like rain" ... it used to confuse me to no end. In all honesty, it doesn't make sense until the rain starts to pour. I think the reason why it confuses me is this: when I think of rain, I think of storm rain; drowning, relentless sheets. Where is the grace in that? When it rains that hard, and the sky is that dark, it's hard to remember that grace is a good thing; how it brings life. We prefer to think of grace as that unexpected radiant sunshine rain. It's so easy for us to see the good in that; the unabashed beauty of it. We race outside like six-year-olds and just soak it in, fully open to how wondrous it is ... not caring how the event may drench us to our underpants.
God's grace is in both kinds of rain, messed up as it sounds. It is sometimes so terrifying, and we hide under our beds, holding our ears, wondering how this could possibly do us any good. Tears fall from our eyes and it feels like our whole house is shaking and quivering beneath the downpour ... it takes us so long, so very long to see the purpose.
Then the morning dawns.
We still are a bit scared; the child in us timidly approaching the window, half-expecting to find the world has completely fallen to bits, but we see it. We see the life, the beauty, the growth that the rain brought. It all makes sense at last, and we thank God, but the next time a storm comes, we find ourselves racing underneath the bed once more ... and find His grace waiting there for us. Our God holds us tight and reminds us of how many storms He has already carried us through, and of the joy that comes with the morning.
Every so often, the rain falls in the sunshine. We were already basking in the sunbeams before it fell, and when it does, we squeal delighted thanksgiving. We dance in that rain with reckless abandon. The blessing floors us. We invite others to join our dance; our praise, unable to resist sharing this moment, and watching as the wondrous thing floods them. The rain penetrates us to our core, and we just grin and whisper, "grace." And this God who delights in giving good and perfect gifts, He grins back.
In the sunshine-rain days of life, when everything was already going along splendidly, then suddenly we hear God's whisper; see His fingerprints all over our small, sacred moments, accepting all as grace is easy. When we believe that "life is good," it comes naturally to us to believe God is good. Yet when life is hard and full of pain, we blame God, and we begin to doubt His goodness. He is always good. Not sometimes. Not most of the time. Always. Life doesn't give us that promise. In fact, Jesus Himself told us, "In this world you will have trouble ... " but He finished with the answer to our dilemma: "But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33, NIV) He has overcome every trial and pain this world has to offer, so how can we fail to trust Him? Only He has encountered every evil and faced every temptation, and came out blameless. He knows our struggle, and He knows what's best. He has overcome, so dear one, take heart! Allow this grace to drench you down to your toes.