grace.

Do you know what grace is?

If you aren’t familiar with Christianity, it is one of the gifts God has given us. I believe it is there for all of us, whether we are Christians are not. I think it’s part of the package for us to live in this world. The reason I think this is because of a scripture found in the Bible that says this:

For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.

Right after that, Jesus explains that loving only people who love you is no big deal. Because Jesus loved every single person in the world whether they love him or not.  He is good to all. This love and this goodness is to open our eyes to see where it comes from.

God is not a harsh task-master with a book of rules. He wants us to love him back. In doing so, we find that we don’t want to do evil things.

That said, grace is what gets us through the difficult, tragic, painful circumstances in life. It’s not the “human spirit” as some would call it. It’s grace.

We can only do so much to help ourselves. Only God knows when we cannot take one more step.

grace

The Bible says this:

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.

The Apostle Paul went through this:

  • stoned and left for dead
  • beaten 3 times
  • whipped with 39 lashes
  • attacked by a mob
  • angry threats
  • shipwrecked 3 times and floated for a day in the ocean
  • bitten by a snake
  • imprisoned 2 years without a trial
  • criticized

Yet, this is what Paul said that God spoke to him:

My grace is enough for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.

God gives us grace to get through whatever we are facing, no matter what it is.  Nothing is too much, too big, too complicated, or too tragic for God.

Do you believe?

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Photo credit: ~Brenda-Starr~ / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

light to our path.

There are markers placed along the path of life we all walk on. Those are the moments when God brings light to our path through times of darkness.

This speaks of God’s care in a broken world with tragedies, despair, emotional and physical pain.

Ever see a line of baby ducks following their mother?

How about a flower springing up from a cracked sidewalk?

There is a story in the Bible about the prophet Jonah who did not do what God told him to do. When he finally did, he waited for God to fulfill his part of the deal but because the people of Ninevah repented, God changed his mind. Jonah sat outside the city sulking. He was angry. God caused a plant to grow overnight to shade Jonah from the hot sun (read more here).

These moments, however they come to us, is God’s goodness. It tells us he is with us. And if you think about it, they soothe our broken hearts – even for a moment.

God knew it would.

ducks 1

 

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Photo credit: rkramer62 / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

beautiful world.

The world is such a beautiful place. But it is also a broken world where ugly resides with beauty, evil resides with good.

The beauty is a reminder of God’s presence.

Why is their both? I don’t know the answer and believe me, I’ve had my times of shaking my fist at him. Thing is, God does not reject us for this. He understands and patiently waits for us to trust him through accepting both as it comes. What else can we do? Live out our lives with anger or bitterness? If we do, we’ll soon stop seeing the beauty.

calm sea

When life hurts, when things get tough, God always sends something beautiful. In fact, it’s when you are steeped in the ugliness that beauty becomes more vivid, more appreciated, and more focused.

Let peace settle over you. Be patient. Embrace beauty.