The past couple of weeks I’ve been doing a long term substitute teaching job at a local middle school. The school is about twenty minutes from my house. I don’t really mind the drive, because most of the roads I take are out in the country. I take the time to admire the late summer corn surrounding the white farmhouse and barn in its sea of green. I stop and watch a mama deer and her two babies (still with white spots on their backs) cross the road. I wind through turns and pass by more farmhouses. I notice some trees with the slightest hint of beginning to turn from summer’s green to autumn’s golds and oranges. I always watch the black and deep chestnut colored horses. Friday morning they were standing close together, right next to the fence, looking as if they were whispering to each other.
As I drove along, radio turned down low, I started to think about my life and how it has played out thus far. Driving alone tends to make me contemplative. I started to list all the ways that God has shown Himself to me….throughout my life. The good times, the hard times, the thrilling times and the heartbreaking times. My life, much like yours, truly is a tapestry of the moments of each day, woven together to create something unique to each of us.
Hebrews 4:16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Life has not always been easy or fun, but even in those difficult times, I can look back and see God at work in my life. Like most of us, I’ve made some good choices and some poor choices through the years, especially as a young adult. I shudder to think what might have been. I realize and am humbled to know it is only because of God’s unending mercy and grace that I am where I am today. My life is no mistake. Neither is yours. Dwell on that for a minute. On that early morning drive, I thought about that. Tears squeezed out the corners of my eyes and slid down my cheeks. I tried to stop, because I didn’t want to mess up my make-up on the way to work, but a few more slid out leaving me with a tear stained face. When one truly understands God’s mercy and grace as it pertains to him/her personally, it SHOULD overwhelm you, because His grace truly is amazing. Mercy is when God chooses to withhold the consequences of punishment for what we DO deserve, and grace is when He gives to us, and gives to us (unmerited favor) …all the things we DON’T really deserve. The realization is humbling. How can we not give thanks, with each breath that we take?
“Through many dangers, toils, and snares I have already come; ‘Tis grace that brought me safe thus far and grace will lead me home.
When we’ve been there ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun, we’ve no less days to sing God’s praise, than when we first begun.”