Finding Grace.

 

 

It was late one fall morning—my husband had taken the kids to school and I was here with one baby in the bassinet and the other baby sitting in her crib playing with toys so that mommy could make the bed. The phone rang and I grabbed it off my dresser.

“Dad called on the way to school. He said bring a box to work.”

Bring a box to work. As in, pack up your things—you’re not working today.

I can’t remember if I stood there and listened or sat down to hear him out. All I know is that by the end of the conversation, it was clear. My husband doesn’t have a job…again. We’d been through this before—before our first anniversary. And here we were again, going around the same mountain again, back at square one. Except we’d learned a few things this time.

When I set that phone back in place, I set myself in gear for the day.

“This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it. Thank you, God, that this is not the end. This is only the beginning.” My hands set to making the sheets of my bed as I declared God’s promises over my husband and our home. “Thank you, God, that You are Jehovah Jireh, my Provider. This is not going to be a bad week. This is going to be the best week ever.” Smoothing out the comforter, I repeated it to myself. “Best. Week. Ever. Thank you Lord, In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

God gave me the grace I needed that day–He still does. There’s something about God’s grace that makes every situation shine a little brighter even on the edges of a dark cloud. There’s light around the edges. There’s a good situation fixing to turn up. There’s going to be a better day. The grace of God.

Grace—(n.) 1.a: unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification; b: a virtue coming from God (Merriam-Webster.com)

The first mention of God’s grace in the Bible is in Genesis 6:8. God has just looked at His creation, and “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination and intention of all human thinking was only evil continually.” (vs. 5, AMP).

Only. Evil. Continually.

God’s heart was grieved. He made these people—man and woman. He created them for fellowship. He created them for relationship. But here they all were—running around acting in ways God never intended, turning their backs on God, living in sin and shame and constant evil. Didn’t they even care? Like a son who has turned his life over to drug or alcohol abuse, like a daughter who hooked up with a guy that doesn’t honor women. You know what I’m saying?

No. Just no.

This is not what parenthood is supposed to look like. This is not what I created you for, child.

God was so disheartened by their sin that He was ready to wipe it all out—wipe everything off the face of the earth—and just. Start. Over.

Have you ever been there?
God was there.

Living in the face of continual evil.
There.

Like a slap in the face of God.
There.

“So the Lord said, I will destroy, blot out, and wipe away mankind, whom I have created from the face of the ground—not only man, but the beasts and the creeping things, and the birds of the air—for it grieves Me and makes Me regretful that I have made them.” (Gen. 6:7, AMP)

Then verse 8 says:
“But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” (vs. 8, NKJV)

Noah found grace.

He experienced God’s favor.

That is my prayer. Will you speak this prayer with me?
God I want to find grace in Your eyes. Your loving favor is so precious to me. May I always honor Your Word and Your plan for my life. I pray that my thoughts, my actions, my heart would line up with what You created me for. Thank You for Your grace at work in me. I declare the grace and favor of the living God over my husband, over each one of my children and over my own life. In Jesus’ Name I pray, AMEN.
Where do you find your life in this story? Is there an area you need God’s grace in your life at this moment? Are you experiencing the grace of God today?

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The Calling – Day 21

Day Twenty-One:  The Calling

  “Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,” –2 Timothy 1:8-9 (NKJV; BibleGateway.com)

29 “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” — Romans 11:29 (NKJV; BibleGateway.com)

 “I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” –Ephesians 4:1-5 (NKJV; BibleGateway.com)

 SavedCalledcalling (1)

God is calling our name.  Can you hear Him?  He’s calling us to follow Him.  He’s calling us to read His Word and apply it to our lives.  He’s calling us to use our gifts and talents to lead other people to Christ.  He’s calling us to prayer.  He’s calling us to love one another.  He’s calling us to forgive the unforgiveable.  He’s calling us to reach out to the broken.  He’s calling us to break out of our status of “comfortable” and into a deeper place with Him.  At every place in our story, He is calling us closer to Him.  Let’s choose to go with Him today.

It takes faith.  It takes abandon. 

Pray and ask God to show you where He is calling you. 

I promise you will never be the same.

What is God calling you to this day? 

The Prayer – Day 20

Day Twenty:  The Prayer

 

4 “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

–Philippians 4:4-7 (NKJV; BibleGateway.com)

10 “Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.”  –Romans 12:10-13 (NKJV; BibleGateway.com)

17 “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— 19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”

–Ephesians 6:17-20

 

When we were kids, our parents always told us to get dressed and make our beds every morning.  Eat a good breakfast, take your vitamins, brush your teeth, and drink plenty of water.  If you’re a parent, you’ve probably said these things countless times along with many more “mommy phrases”.  We don’t usually go into a big explanation about why—we just say it.

Eventually the lesson will come to light.  Wait for it.

Recently, we took our children for their regular dentist appointments—all four of them.  It’s funny how you can have four kids, and only one of them is that kid.  You may know the one I mean.  The child who can conjure in his or her imagination the absolute worst outcome for any situation—and then pester you about it for days.  Weeks before the appointment, she just knew that she had a terrible cavity—more than one, actually.  She also believed that one or several of her permanent teeth was coming out.  “Look, mom!  It’s wiggling.  Check it, please!”  Oh, the relief when the dentist finally came to examine her teeth and declared the two words that brings joy to every mama’s heart.

“No cavities.”

Prayer feels like that to me.  It’s the driving force behind the reassurance we’ve been waiting for.  The Bible says a lot of awesome things about our relationship to God and our influence in life regarding prayer.  We don’t always know what will happen because we prayed, but we know that when we cover every situation in prayer—good things happen.  I’ve found that also “God things happen”.  It humbles and amazes me that the God who created heaven and earth allows us to participate in history itself when we pray.  Let’s make the choice to pray today and often in the days to come. In our last two days, we are going unscripted.  Pray your own prayer to the Lord today, and spend time with Him.  Let’s honor God and give Him all the glory.