Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wednesdays in the Word: Living in Grace

As I sit here finishing up this entry, I am a little amused about the subject matter. See, I started writing this last Wednesday, not knowing what the weekend was going to bring.  Friday started off with our having to bring 1g13 to the ER.  She has a nasty ear infection. Saturday brought another trip to the ER with 3g9, who was diagnosed with pneumonia.  Sunday morning we visited her Pediatrician and not an hour after getting home, were instructed to return to the ER as her temp was hovering around 104* and had been for 24 hours.  After 48 sleepless hours, we returned to the Pediatrician and were informed that the medication she was on was not helping. So, he switched her to three others, which (due to a glitch in her insurance) were not covered.  To say that I was completely overwhelmed and ready to run away from home would be an understatement!  However,  I'm pleased to say that last night she showed great improvement and her temperature actually stayed below 101*!  Thank you Lord!

All of that to say that there have been moments in the past five days where I have struggled to find the grace in the situation.  Grace is defined as "favor, good will, kindness".  I have had a couple of middle-of-the-night pity parties, asking "God? Do you see what is going on?  Where's my help that comes from the Lord?".  

Thankfully, I have some wonderful friends who faithfully have prayed both during the day and in the midnight hours!  Thank you!  When I couldn't pray anymore, they filled in and took on the task.  And you know what?  Even when I couldn't see grace through my worry and fear, grace was still there.  Grace allowed medication to bring down fevers, grace gave strength to stay up most of the last four days, grace provided medical care when it was needed and grace led me to write last week what I would need reminding of this week.  Thank God for grace!

More than a decade ago, my friend Kari said to me via email, “you sure are living in grace”, and that phrase has been my signature line ever since. At the time, my husband had just taken his first pastorate and I found myself thrust into the role of “pastor’s wife”, and the duties that seem to go along with it. One of those duties was to organize baby showers for other ladies in the church. At this point, pregnancy announcements seemed to be flooding in from all sides and I was feeling very overwhelmed. As many of you reading know, infertility has been a part of my entire married life and at that season of life, it was very hard for me to not only rejoice over all the glad tidings but to plan baby showers as well!

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago. I was listening to a cd from our pastor and he made a statement that has stuck with me. He said, “You can’t worry about tomorrow’s problems on today’s grace.” Such a simple statement, but there is so much truth there! God does not give us grace to face our problems and trials tomorrow. He only gives grace for today. So, why do we spend so much time worrying about the things that we cannot control? 

Sometimes I think that I’m afraid God’s grace will simply run out, but praise the Lord, the Bible says that he giveth more grace (James 4:6)! God is not going to run out of grace…not today or next month or next year. It will be there for the asking.

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
(2Co 12:9-10)

A year and a half ago, I had the opportunity once again to experience God’s grace when we lost our unborn child. Upon learning that our baby was with the Lord, immediately God spoke to me and told me to praise Him. The song “God Wants to Hear You Sing” came to my mind.  Surely God didn’t want me to sing right then…but He did. The second verse of that song says:

He loves to hear our praise on our cheerful days, 
when the pleasant times outweigh the bad by far.
But when troubles come along and we still sing Him songs, 
that is when we bless the Father’s heart.

And indeed, there is much truth there. It’s easy to praise God when things are going our way; when the bills are paid, the kids are well, our marriage is happy and we’re on a spiritual mountaintop. But God’s grace is only manifested when we can praise Him in the valleys, when things aren’t going just right, when the doctor brings a bad report. My blogging friend Heather recently buried her 10 year old daughter. She has been a picture of grace throughout Emma’s sickness (and Heather’s battle with brain cancer!). Because she has allowed God’s grace to be evidenced in her life, she has touched countless lives. That pleases the Father. When we are weak, HE is strong!

Over and over again, God has extended His grace towards me and if you know Him as Savior, he has extended His grace to you as well. Truly, the greatest gift ever given is that of His amazing, saving grace!

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost but now I’m found,
Was blind but now I see!

Praise the Lord for His saving grace. Praise Him for the grace that strengthens us in our trials. Praise Him for His grace that knows no limits. There is grace enough for anything you might be facing today, and He stands ready to give you the grace you need if you’ll just turn to Him. Remember, Jesus loves you!

Grace…I’m living in it. Are you?

© Adorning Grace 2011

1 comment:

  1. What a hard week! Isn't it frightening when our kids are that sick? Something I read recently reminded me that either God is in control of this situation, or he is not. I choose to believe he is, and that brings a feeling of -- ah, rest -- I am in his hands. From "How Firm a Foundation":
    "The flame will not hurt thee;
    I only design
    Thy dross to consume
    And thy gold to refine."
    He is faithful.


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