Half Full or Empty?
I am sure you have heard when discussing a person’s tendency to be optimistic or pessimistic that they are either a person who tends to see the glass ‘half empty’ or ‘half full’. The idea is that when a glass of water is filled half way it can be good news (you at least have a half glass to drink) or bad news (that’s all you have to drink). Thinking about the rainfall we have received this past winter we could all probably agree that our rain gauges are well over half full. We have had plenty and more than we need. So, has that been good or bad? Is lots of rain a good thing or a bad thing?
Our Lord, when speaking about how we are to treat our enemies, reminds us in Matthew 5:45 that God “sends rain on the just and unjust”. For us living in the NW our thoughts might be that God punishes both the just and unjust by disrupting their lives with lots of rain. However, if you lived in the Middle East you would probably have a different perspective. A lack of rain for them meant massive crop failures and famine, poverty and hardship. Their concern always was not the odds of getting too much rain but rather they always lived under the threat of getting too little rain. In the Old Testament, the early and latter rains were always a sign of the blessings of God, not of his punishment.
So when the Lord reminds us “he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” his point is that our attitude towards our enemies should be the same as God’s. He cares for them, even when they won’t acknowledge him, and he still provides the sustenance of life and showers his blessings on humanity. God is the one who is over all and his plans are always good and right and even those we think undeserving of his goodness still are recipients of it. If we want to follow our Lord’s example then we are called to be people who show mercy, kindness and care even for those who we consider our enemies, and leave the results to the Lord.