By Mike Rusch:

Over the last few years, I’ve had the privilege of being a part of a community agriculture program that brings hunger relief, education, and other aid to the under-resourced in our community.  We have spent countless hours to prepare this land to help people in need.  We’ve tilled soil, removed rocks, planted seeds, and pulled weeds – all for the hope of a bountiful harvest.

However, despite all of our sweat, blisters, and planning, there’s one thing we cannot control: the weather.  We are dependent on the rain to fall freely upon the land, but powerless to make it happen.

Without rain, there is nothing but an empty, barren field.  Without rain, there is no harvest – no life. Despite having every element of a garden in place, there is nothing without the rain.

When it comes to life, it sometimes feels like the rain is being withheld:

“I did what was expected of me, but it didn’t matter.”

“I made a decision, and now I’m paying the price.”

“It makes no difference if I’m here or not.”

“If I was only more beautiful, he would not have left.”

We start to believe that we are sentenced to a dry, barren life – fruitless efforts, broken promises, addictions, pain, and hopelessness.  We believe that the grace to move past these stones and weeds will never come.

But it’s a lie, because grace isn’t the same as rain.  Grace falls freely and dependably – God's gift of life granted to dormant seeds waiting to produce fruit.  God's grace is sufficient to grow, to heal, to reclaim, and to renew.

Thankfully, I know of no field that rejects the rain.  When it does come, the field freely accepts it, drinking it in deeply.

Grace is falling all around – and it’s ours to accept.  How deeply will you drink?

For the land, into which you are entering to possess it, is not like the land of Egypt from which you came, where you used to sow your seed and water it with your foot like a vegetable garden. But the land into which you are about to cross to possess it, a land of hills and valleys, drinks water from the rain of heaven. (Deuteronomy 11: 10-11)