It’s very wet. Driving to work in the downpour, I set the windshield wipers to hyper wiper. They worked as fast as they could twitch, back and forth, shoving the rain off the window. I ended up behind an empty tow truck. Its wake alone disturbed me, flumes of water spewing up on either side of the back wheels, like a sort of land speedboat. But, true Pacific Northwesterner that I am, I kept driving. I followed the fog lines in the still-dark morning. I prayed I wouldn’t hydroplane as I navigated the banked turns and straightaways of Highway 101. Water rushed over us and under us.
After yesterday’s Amtrak accident on I-5 southbound, I thought maybe there might be more traffic. It seemed a little heavier. All of us drove slower due to the lack of visibility. A few miles into the commute, I passed the tow truck. On the right, because he wouldn’t get out of the fast lane where he was barely making the speed limit. What gives, dude?
Rain happens. As of right now, Shelton’s gotten nearly 164 inches in 2017. Jesus said, “For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.”(Matthew 5:45). In most of the Biblical references (see Job 37:6, Deut. 32:2, Hebrews 6:7), rain falling on the earth shows God’s blessing and care. Before the invention of irrigation, farmers depended on the rain. It’s God’s unique watering system. Without the regular flow of rain, they could grow little food. They could starve, and their livestock, too.
The context of the Matthew 5 reference is praying for your enemies. It’s loving those who don’t love you back. It’s being good to those who persecute you. Then “you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven”, the first part of verse 45.
Rain, it seems, gives us a context to bless. Up here where it rains so much, we don’t necessarily see it as a blessing. At all. It’s cold. It’s dark and depressing outside, where we spend very little time, dodging puddles from our car to the house and back again. The ground doesn’t dry out until late August. Mud and muck abound, and what it does to our hair? I won’t even go into it. But rain also makes the tree and flowers grow. It causes us to have a bumper crop of blackberries. As God has blessed us with more than enough to drink, our roots can go down deep. We can rest securely in His care for us. We can reach out to those who hate us and pray for them. By God’s grace, we can find a way to love them. After all, He sends the rain.