Tag Archive | grace

limping along.

We all know what it’s like to have a bad day.

But how about a bad month? Or months? Or year?

There are difficult times in life I like to call seasons. Because just like seasons, they go on for awhile. The good part is a new season is always coming, and with it, hope for brighter days.

And eventually, everyone gets brighter days.

I’ve been feeling like I’m limping along for awhile now with many situations beyond my control.

How we feel (emotions) are real. But they are unpredictable, not always accurate, and can consume us if we don’t have something to anchor ourselves to. Beyond the days of heavy, dark clouds, the sun is shining. What you are feeling is real, just like the clouds are real. But you don’t always see beyond them.

If you’ve been reading here for awhile, you know my anchor is God and the Bible.

Now before you start getting riled up with the oh-so-common opposition you feel welling up inside, let me ask you this: what anchors you? What keeps you from being overwhelmed? You are turning to something in order to cope. What is it?

Even though I am limping, I am steady.

I cry, I am angry, I am discouraged, I am weary.

But just like the small, unseen pilot light that keeps the pot on your stove constant without burning or boiling over, just like the steady glow of the lighthouse guiding ships to safety, God provides us with something to steady us through difficulty and even tragedy.

It’s called grace.

And God says grace helps in time of need.

And God says it is sufficient no matter what we’re facing.

It’s called peace.

And God says it’s not the kind of peace the world gives.

And God says it protects your heart and mind.

And it’s called joy.

And God says this joy is our strength.

And God says when we believe we will have joy.

I didn’t get here overnight. No one does. It has been a series of situations leaving me floundering in a sea of doubt, discouragement, and despair. I navigated through life not turning to other things, but believing and trusting God meant what he said. Through it, I became stronger and stronger.

God has “hard wired” us to depend on him. The fact anyone would resist is proof enough. We are pretty independent and God does not want us to be independent from him. He wants to help us and he outlines the way he will help us – if we want it.

I’m not saying if you haven’t developed a lifetime of building your life the way I did that you can’t do it now. He tells us he hears and answers … anyone at anytime.

So, great news! You can start your “lifetime” today.

Am I happy? Not really. I’ve had better days of happiness.

But I have discovered the real deal is when so much is wrong, you feel the grace, peace, and joy only God can give.

Doesn’t make sense, does it?

All the more reason to know it’s from God.

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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?

~~~

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