Grace, So Amazing

The word “grace” has come up several times in conversations, during reading, and in small group study over this past week.

Is God trying to show me something? Reveal a truth? I ponder the word…slowly. Taking it all in. I wrap the word around me, as I contemplate what my Father is trying to tell me.

Grace…..this short and simple word, I quietly utter it. It slides off my tongue. This word that is meant for me.

Grace through salvation. Yes. Jesus, God in human flesh, took my place, unto death. He died for my sins. He pardoned me because He chose to, not because I did anything to deserve it. He bestowed grace. He gave me Himself. But, grace is more than that one moment in time. My relationship with Christ is ongoing. Every day. Daily grace.

Are my days about abiding in His grace towards me? Am I filled with His grace? Do I, could I possibly understand, what it is to live this grace? This gift? Right here. Right now. Not as just a word, but as the very air that I breathe. Am I showing grace to others? Or do I hold back? My fist gripping onto what was so freely given to me? Eyes so easily blinded to what truly matters.

I’m learning. Always learning.

Grace, so amazing.

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**************************************************************************************************************************************************************   2 Corinthians 12:8-9 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Acts 4:33 And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. Acts 11:22-24 The report of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose, for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord. John 1:15-17 (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 5:10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. Romans 3:20-24 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it — the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus Ephesians 2:4-9 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Read more: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/20-inspirational-bible-verses-about-grace/#ixzz3FNk45ZHk

The Waiting Game

Waiting

Image by urbanlegend via Flickr

My husband and I co-facilitate a Grief Share group at our church. It is a group that helps those who have lost a loved one, to death. Since, we have both been in that situation, we can relate to those who come to the class. This past Wednesday we discussed waiting, and what that means. Many of the things that the counselors discussed can be applied to other life situations, not just death. Anyway, this week’s discussion got me to thinking…

“Instead of focusing on what I’m waiting for, I should be focusing on what I am becoming as I wait

Many times in my life I have found myself waiting. Waiting to grow up. Waiting to drive. Waiting for graduation. Waiting to live on my own. Waiting for a job. Waiting to get married. Waiting to have a child. Waiting to move states.  Those are “big” waitings. Sometimes the waiting is not so big, but significant nonetheless. Waiting in the check-out line at the store. Waiting for a package in the mail. Waiting to hear back from a friend.

I do a lot of waiting in life. Now, that I think about it, I probably “wait” a lot more than I “do”. With that being said, it seems like I should really rethink the statement that the counselor made.

How many times have I been impatient? Wanting to move things along at MY speed? How many times have I asked (told) God to get a move on? Unfortunately, too many. It is easier to hear that God is working on me, than to actually allow it. As, I’ve gotten older, and hopefully wiser, I realize that more times than not, it is the waiting that makes me who I am….who I need to be in Him. Those are the in between periods where God does His work. Sometimes the waiting is painful, because I have a lot of junk in my life that God has to chip away at, clean up, make new. Other times God shows me Himself, in the peace before the storm. The waiting fortifies me for what lies ahead.

I used to think that waiting was useless…let’s get on with it already!  I thought waiting was passive, a thumb twiddling kind of a time. How wrong I was. Waiting is work. Waiting is hard. Waiting is change and growth. Waiting is learning. Waiting is longing. It is in the waiting that endurance is cultivated.

An Olympic runner does not jump out of bed one day and try out to be on the Olympic team. She trains. She pushes. She gets injuries. She gets back up. She runs. Day after day. Weeks, months, years go by…until she is finally ready. When she goes across that finish line, she knows it is only because of the hard work she endured before, that made this moments possible…during the waiting.

The waiting, makes the ending all the more sweet.

So, when you find yourself in a waiting stage of life, remember this: God is in the waiting, and it is exciting to think about what He is going to do WITH you, and FOR you.