Common?

I really like weather. It’s one of those things that can never be called common. No one ever rolls their eyes at a sunset, or is nonchalant at the sight of the fresh-fallen snow on the fence-posts. But why not? Doesn’t weather happen every day? True, it often seems a bit different, but after a while one snowstorm looks pretty much like the last one. So why isn’t weather considered kind of boring in its repetitions?

Weather, along with other things like food, comfort, rest, family, friends, health, intelligence, desires, and many other things are all the same – common. We all either have, or at least appreciate, these things. What is it about them that makes them special? Aren’t they just common, ordinary things?

Well, yes. These things are simply common, but there’s nothing simple about them. They are common graces and, as such, they are the things that we are created to enjoy – they are, in fact, some of the things that help make us human. God has given these things to us and we enjoy them because we find our greatest fulfillment in enjoying Him. His common grace, or the grace that He has bestowed upon all people in common, is the grace that gives us life, comprehension, and all of the aforementioned blessings.

If the enjoyment of these things is the natural reaction we have to the common grace of God; how much more so should be our response to God in gratitude for the special and specific grace that he has given to His children through His Son. Christ, when He came to earth as a human gave up all of His heavenly glory. Then, at the crucifixion, he gave up even the most basic of the common graces as well – his own life. Christ gave up all of these things so that he could offer to His children so much more – the special grace of redemption that comes through his death and resurrection. This covenant grace is never common, indeed it is always new, always renewing, and always special.

So. Next time you see the waves crashing on the rocky coastline, the trees flowering in the spring, or the sun setting in a fiery blaze, don’t just thank God for this common grace – thank Him for His special grace, the gift of His Son who is altogether more beautiful, more powerful, and more transfixing than the most stunning of thunderstorms, the most romantic of sunsets, and the most delicate of flowers.

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One thought on “Common?

  1. This is good. The glory of God in both common grace and special grace fascinates me like nothing else does.
    I would only add that even common grace is purchased in the cross. How else could God be just in lavishing food and friends and weather on the wicked? How could he justify his patience with mankind for even the span of a life? So I think, though it is not emphasized in Scripture, that common grace is blood bought even as special grace is.

    But oh, special grace is so good.

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