January 17, 2011

The Grace of God

As I drove home from Macy's last evening, I gave Praise to God for His Goodness and His Marvelous Grace.  I had just finished three (3) full days of working retail (after a two evening stint).  In truth, I should have not been able to walk out of the building.  In weeks past, I barely could make it through a two-day schedule (two 8-hour days) without my back and feet throbing with pain.  Moreover, my monthly cycle started and that normally brings on a severe back ache, migraine, and a general feeling of tension.  This month, while I did have some aches and pains on the first of the three days of work, I had no PMS symptoms at all.  I simply had no distress, other than some stiffness and soreness.

I expected the worse to hit me last evening AFTER I got home and settled in.  Normally, once I sit down, my legs begin to seize up on me, and then every movement out of the chair or sofa causes extreme pain.  Again, I came home from dinner stiff and sore, but not with the debilitating pain I normally experience.  I went to bed about 9 p.m. and slept pretty heavily until 12 a.m..  I drifted back off to sleep and eventually got up at 7 a.m.  My thighs are sore, like after a good workout, but other than this (and my monthly cycle which came this morning), I am feeling OK.

I am giving God all the Praise for this work because there is no other way for me to have survived such a long and grueling work week WITHOUT His intervention in my life.  I had prayed for His Grace last week, well really when I first got the schedule off the computer.  I said then, "Lord, I cannot do this week."  He said, "Yes, my Grace is sufficient."  Well, He was right, of course!

God is my Protector.  He makes sure that I am "covered" all the time.  He says that to me, and I think He is sounding sort of hip (modern).  "Carol, I've got you covered," you know, like some cheesy comment from a friend ("Hey baby, you're covered!")  LOL!  I think though that He means literally "covered."  It just sounds funny when He says it (and that is the first thing I think of when I hear those words.)  In the Old Testamant, the Cheribum and Seriphim (the Angelic beings that surround the Lord's Mercy Seat and are in His Presence continually) fly with their wings covering their feet, and their eyes.  They cover themselves out of fear of the Lord (respect, awe), and in many ways, God's Grace does the same thing for us.  It is a covering, that protects us from harm, surrounds us, and keeps us in His Presence so that we do not suffer  needlessly (or in some cases, so we can suffer for His Glory).  We need to remember that when we are standing in His Grace, He is Covering us, just as His Angels cover themselves up in His Presence.  We are wrapped up with Angel's wings so that we are safe, are secure, and are always kept from harm.  God is Good this way.

God is also my Provider.  He is the supplier of all our needs, and He makes sure that our resources are kept in check.  He is the Resource Manager, as I call Him, who is there at-the-ready to supply us with whatever we need.  If we need anything, we go to Him with our petition, and He meets our need.  Sometimes we do have to wait, and sometimes He will say no to us -- but only for things that are out of His Timing or are not part of His will for our lives.  No, pretty much everything we need for daily life is supplied to us (Matt 6:32).  Therefore, our cup always runs over (Ps. 23:5).  God doesn't just supply the basics, as the words of Jesus illustrate in Matthew 6; no, most definitely not.  He supplies us with abundant Grace, and abundant life (John 10:10).

When I rest in these two attributes of God, then I am demonstrating my trust of the Lord.  You see, God desires that we trust Him, but to do that we must first KNOW Him.  By knowing Him, I mean that we must know that He is God, and then we must know about Him (understand His characteristics, attributes, way).  The more we come to know about Him (not just Bible history), the more we learn that He is TRUSTWORHTY.  Trust in God is imperative, and it should be the number one characteristic we seek from Him.  When we trust Him, we cease striving for the things of this world, and we begin to be conformed to His way, to His likeness, and to His image (to think like Him, to act like Him, etc.)  We can not do these things, be like Him, until we are firmly established in a trust relationship with Him.

Learning to trust God is difficult.  It is not that He is untrustworthy; by no means, rather it is that we lack the knowledge of Him to be able to remain in relationship with Him.  We come to Him through Jesus Christ, and through our relationship with Jesus, we learn about the Father.  We develop trust through experience, both historical and personal.  In the Bible, we read about people just like us who struggled through difficult times, and we are educated in God's way.  Then we experience similar situations in our own life, and we learn to trust Him to help us learn what to do now.  This combination of historical practical experience and personal practical experience is what shapes us and makes us into a People of His Own Choosing.

Dear Brother or Sister in Christ,

How are you doing when it comes to trusting the Lord today?  Are you walking in His Grace, allowing the Lord to minister to your heart and mind and body?  Or are you struggling to trust Him for a provision or need?  If so, consider who it is that you say you trust.  If you trust God, then believe that He is able to meet your need today.  If you lack trust, study the Bible more closely, spend more time with Him in prayer, and rely upon His Holy Spirit to help you discover the sweetness of a relationship formed and established in trusting the Lord today.  Amen, so be it, thy will be done.

1 comment:

Joel said...

God is our Provider and Protector and His grace IS sufficient! Couldn't agree more. Thanks for sharing:) One of the ways I've really grown to understand how grace fits into my life and put some context around it was the book by Andy Stanley called The Grace of God. (here's a link to check it out http://bit.ly/97gsL6 ) Before reading that, "Grace" was just a term I threw around but didn't fully understand. The insight from it really gives more meaning to your post! Thanks!