Grace Like Rain
What if we could visually picture the grace and blessings that are poured out on us in every moment? What an awesome view that would be! Rooms with a view are always more costly but worth it to those who understand that outlook can oftentimes affect outcome.
We all know that when it rains so hard we cannot see two feet in front of our face it can slow us to a snail’s pace and at worst, it can stop us dead in our tracks. But what if our eyes were suddenly opened to see God’s abundance all around us and that God was there all the time? Talk about an awakening; it would put us in the moment and we would focus on what God is doing now and learn to appreciate what’s right in front of us.
Yet, many times in our anguish, pain and emotional upheaval we can become so upset at the rain that we miss the water that brings the blessing of life into our lives.
A perfect example of this is when Hagar was faced with the rejection of Sarah and her ultimate dismissal from Abraham’s tent. At first, she had difficulty responding correctly to her adversity, but eventually corrected her way and later was given a unique blessing from the Lord that is still in effect today. Haven’t we all responded in the wrong way?
We cannot fix or enjoy what we cannot see. When Hagar first faced the mistreatment of Sarah, she did what most people do; she ran away. Too many are living in denial, running from their place because of pain, and consequently missing the blessing. An angel appeared to her and told her to return to Sarah. Hagar returned and submitted. We find out that no matter the difficulty, even in the face of injustice, we can still grow if we learn not to escape.
We must stop running away and learn to obey.
We never experience the rain unless we are positioned correctly and respond positively to God’s voice. Trying to escape difficulty is pointless and fruitless. Hagar had a unique character flaw that many of us portray when we are faced with adversity.
After Ishmael was born Hagar allowed her pride to get the best of her and taunted Sarah, in turn causing Ishmael to follow her example, which ended badly with both of them being expelled from Abraham’s camp.
When her son needed her the most Hagar left him under a tree and did not attempt to console him because she couldn’t bear the pain. The scripture recounts that when the water of the skin was consumed, she cast off the boy beneath one of the trees. She went and sat herself down at a distance away and said, ‘Let me not see the death of the child”. However, Hagar experienced another visitation and grace fell like rain.
We must stop blaming others and start accepting responsibility.
Ben Zoma taught in the Talmud that all happiness comes from within (Pirkei Avos 4:1). He said:
Who is wise? He who learns from every person.
Who is strong? He who conquers his desires.
Who is rich? He who is satisfied with what he’s got.
Who is honored? He who honors others.
External factors are not important; what is happening within you makes the difference. If you can learn to see the problem in the right perspective and understand God never reveals a problem to condemn you, you will see that through Him, you will have life more abundantly.
If we start depending on Jesus, we can begin to not only see the problem but receive the solution to the problem. Once we are free from the blame game we are free to become wise, strong and honorable.
Remember to first see the problem. Own it and set a path to overcome it.
Most ailing organizations have developed a functional blindness to their own defects. They are not suffering because they cannot resolve their problems, but because they cannot see their problems.
Learn to think differently. Stop self-medicating and entertaining yourself to death. Learn to listen carefully to the still small voice because God’s voice has the power to alter our perspective and give us the right view. Yes, it may be raining but the water is life.
The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.
We must stop quitting and learn to start again when we fail.
Sometimes in our panic we quit. Our emotions cloud our judgment and we react rather than responding correctly. Notice that Hagar had abandoned her son and fled, saying that she could not bear to see him die of thirst. God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water (Genesis 21:19). God did not create a well where none had existed, but “opened her eyes” so that she could see an already-existing well, which she had not seen because of her state of panic.
Many opportunities may be right before our eyes but if in our anguish we panic, we may fail to see them and the result may be a misfortune that could have been averted.
Hagar almost lost Ishmael, not because there was no water, but because she could not see it. What was necessary was not a miracle, but a correct perception of reality.
God’s word can teach us and provide guidance that can assist in avoiding distortions of reality.
Today, make up in your mind to avoid panic and any other emotion that clouds the ability to see what is truly before you.
Just like God opened Hagar’s eyes to a well of water that had been there all the time, He can open your eyes too. Ask yourself this question, “What is right before me that I am not seeing?” What grace is invisible yet working to save you? Remember what God did for Hagar. He changed her name to Keturah (beautiful as incense). The same blessing God gave to Abraham, Sarah, Jacob and Simon Peter, He gave to Hagar by changing her name. You may have called yourself, “worthless, useless, clueless, and beyond hope.” But now you drink from another well, and the water is not the poison of the past but hope for the future.
Genesis 21:17–20 (AV) — 17 And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is. 18 Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation. 19 And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink. 20 And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer.
When invisible grace is made visible, things change. The Rabbis teach that Hagar (or Keturah) never remarried even though she was cast out. She remained faithful. There is just no substitute for faithfulness. She was blessed. Let’s not escape our pain but turn to God in prayer, and let’s grow and improve. The rain is never designed to destroy, but to lead us closer to Jesus. Hagar obeyed and the grace like rain blessed her and it will do the same for you.