Why doesn’t the rain fall only on the Christian farmer’s fields? Why do the wicked enjoy vacations in Hawai? God’s everywhere grace (commonly called “common grace”). “He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matt. 5:45).
Why do the evil have such full freezers and why do the wicked have such happy times? God’s everywhere grace that fills their hearts with food and gladness (Acts 14:17).
God’s everywhere grace is everywhere and experienced by everyone. Or to put it negatively, there is no one and no place on earth that is devoid of everywhere grace (Ps. 145:9; Acts 14:15-16).
Scottish islands and North Korean Gulags
That’s not just true of the Grand Canyon, the Niagara Falls, and the Scottish islands. Go to the the most notorious high security prison in Venezuala, go to North Korea’s gulags, go to Al Qaeda training camps in Pakistan, and there you’ll find some evidences of God’s everywhere grace.
Find the most sadistic child-abuser, the most disturbed serial killer, or the most monstrous terrorist, and you’ll find everywhere grace somewhere in their lives. You’ll find some faint traces of God’s undeserved kindness. Even breath itself.
It’s hard to see – the evil is so thick and dark that it almost envelops everything else – but awful though these places and people are, none of them are as bad as they possibly could be. The Lord lightens every person that comes into the world (John 1:4).
Even the most hardened criminals have some code of honor that draws the line somewhere in what they would do or not do. North Korean prison guards can still extend surprising mercy to their terrified captives. Al Qaeda operatives cook one another food and share funny stories around their camp fires. These are only traces, the remaining vapors of God’s everywhere grace, I know, but still, if we can see it there and in these people, can we not more easily see it in our workplaces and in our boss?
Grace for animals?
And even if for a time you cannot see God’s everywhere grace in the people around you, what about the animals? Yes, God’s everywhere grace extends to animals too. Why don’t the animals tear one another to pieces until there’s only one left? What can explain the affection of our dogs, the playfulness or our cats, and the cuteness of our hamsters? Yes, God’s every-animal grace.
Of course, God’s everywhere grace is not everywhere in the same proportions. God gives it according to His sovereign wisdom and power, and He chooses to give more of it to some people and places than to others.
Here’s a question for you: Does God sometimes give more of His everywhere grace to unbelievers than he does to believers (those who have been given His special saving grace)? Does that explain why we sometimes find unbelievers are kinder and just nicer people than some Christians?
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