Recently one of my dear Aussie friends asked for prayer for the fires raging across her homeland. She poured out her heart over the loss of homes, wildlife, and millions of acres burning out of control. Stories of people running into the sea as their only escape from the flames and then needing to be rescued by the Australian Navy brought tears to my eyes. As we discussed all that was happening, it came down to one simple prayer request: rain.
I was immediately reminded of Matthew 5. In this beautiful chapter, Jesus sat by the Sea of Galilee and gave us the Beatitudes and wonderful teachings on sin and redemption. But towards the end, there is this powerful statement of who God is. V. 45 …He causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and unrighteous.
This verse shows us yet another glimpse of who God is. He is not some vindictive God of destruction. Nor is He some deity to be appeased and bribed with good works. He does not show favoritism, nor is He out to curse and destroy. He bestows His goodness on all, because He is good. Rain falls whether we are good or bad.
In the midst of firestorms it can be so natural to lose sight of the goodness of God when all you can see is smoke and destruction. I like to think that as Jesus sat on that hill by the Sea of Galilee He knew all that we would face; and yet He gave a powerful reminder that God is good. Jesus spent much of His time teaching about who God in Heaven is and how He longs to be in communion with us. I think Jesus knew we needed that reminder for when the days are dark that we are not alone and that our Father in heaven cares about us.
When hard times come and you find yourself praying for rain, take some time to strengthen your heart on the goodness of God. You might find the fires of life are just a little smaller in comparison to His goodness and hopefully that will give courage for the day.
Update on the Australian fires:
There has been some rain and cooler temperatures and this has helped many areas. Fires are still burning across the country, so please join with me and pray for the many people in Australia.