Friday, May 11, 2012

Flowers Fade Friday: Grace Upon Grace

Sometimes I think about how much I struggle to live in grace in my everyday life. I idolize my own time; I hate to be interrupted. I all too often display irritation or impatience when faced with difficult circumstances {no matter how petty}.

And I say I believe the Gospel. I believe that Jesus, and the future glory I have with Him, are far more important than the problems I face this day. That any trial of this world, big or small, is insignificant to the hope I have in Christ. And yet I far too often fail to live out that reality.

And then I get discouraged and think “Okay, if I can’t even display joy when my schedule for the day goes awry or someone says a mildly rude comment to me, what would happen if I were ever faced with a REAL trial? What if someone close to me died, or got sick, or I got sick or something? How would I ever display JOY then?”

But a sweet friend corrected my thinking the other day. Unlike me, she experienced real, hard, raw trial last year. She almost lost her husband to a nearly fatal case of meningitis. The doctors told her he would never wake up. He was in a comma for days. Her toddler stayed with family as she practically lived at the hospital. A second son was growing in her womb. He was due in three months and she didn’t know if her husband would to see his birth.

And in that moment, God’s grace was showered upon her. She was loved and encouraged and prayed over by friends and family far and near. People congregated in that hospital waiting room to hold her, pray with her, help her, feed her. But not only was she given grace, she also displayed God’s grace to all. She sang worship songs by her husband’s bedside. She used her blog to share the truth of the Gospel in the midst of her trial to an audience across the country. She whispered Bible verses and loved her son well, despite her own hurting. And God was faithful. He brought her husband back to life. To full, real, healthy life. With no brain damage as the doctors at first predicted. This past weekend, we joined to celebrate one year of him being ALIVE!

And the other day, when I questioned whether I would ever have the strength to get through a trial that really tested my faith, she quietly corrected my thinking. As one who has walked that path, she assured me that God’s grace would meet me in my need. That He would strengthen me in any circumstance. Because it’s not about me. Of course, I am prone to fail. To snap. To become impatient. To become overwhelmed when things don’t go my way or when I am faced with the truth that my sense of control is all an illusion.

But it’s not about me, thankfully. It’s about God and His glorious son, Jesus Christ. And the grace He lavishes upon His children. He makes us strong when we are weak. He gives us joy when we are suffering.  He brings His praise to our lips when we don’t have words to say.

When I look at my life, it seems hard to imagine what I would do in the face of extreme trial and suffering. I don’t really want to face suffering, but I want to know that if I do, I will faithfully live out the truth of the Gospel.

And I will. Not because of anything in me.

But because God has promised it. He has promised grace upon grace. He has promised to be my strength when I am weak.

And to him I give the glory.

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.
II Corinthians 12:9


Claudia said...

I am so honored in this moment... not just to be able to say that I personally know the incredible woman who wrote this post, but also to be blessed with these truths in a time of need.

Meredith said...

This is so timely and encouraging, thank you! :)

Jessi said...

I have no doubt that you would be given the strength you need if/when trouble comes. You can't even imagine what that is like until you are in it. And that's okay. That's the awesome, supernatural power of God. I don't know how many times people told me during my first pregnancy, when we knew we would lose my daughter, that they couldn't believe how strong I was. My answer was always the same, "It's not my strength, but Christ". If it had been up to me, I would have fallen completely apart. I'd probably still be terribly depressed. But with God thre is, as you said, grace upon grace, and HOPE! I am thankful to Him every single day that He lifts my chin and grants me hope for a new day with Him.

ps- Your friend is blessed to have a friend like you and I know you were blessed to watch her in that time. I'm thankful for those around me who display God's grace on a daily basis.

Jenn @ PSP said...

I found you via the Wiegand's blog giveaway, but this post made me stop and read. Thank you so much for sharing this! At church midweek last night, we were talking about praising God in all circumstances, and just how miracles happen all around us when we pay attention. Your friend's story is such a miracle! And such a great reminder to always trust God, that his grace IS sufficient. Thank you!