November 20, 2012

as it has been given to me

“We are his portion
And he is our prize
Drawn to redemption by the grace in his eyes
If grace is an ocean we're all sinking.”   
                                                     ~ Lyrics to "'How He Loves Us"

My children squabble over something completely irrelevant.  Again.

The oldest son forgets that he is so much larger than the others and unintentionally pushes the littlest boy just a wee bit too hard while playing a game.

Tears.  Those tears, they freely flow. 

My little boy is upset.  

Baby sister cries too.  For the 126th time that day.

Because she’s tender.  And extremely sensitive. She cries easily.

And people I love with all my heart make mistakes—and I watch them try to put the pieces of their lives back together again.  Just one tiny piece at a time. It’s hard.

And I am tired and feeling worn out. 

It’s been one of THOSE days. The kind when everything in the world just feels so wrong.

I check my e-mail one last time before turning in for the night. It’s overflowing with unanswered notes, as usual. There simply are not enough hours in the day. 

And I feel like a failure because my heart longs to respond to each and every person who reaches out.

I read through every prayer request and every heavy burden shared.  My eyes read words of encouragement and love poured out.  My heart aches at yet another picture of a child aging out of a baby house and facing transfer to a mental asylum. My mind races at how there simply has to be a way to help more families to raise the ransom to bring their children home.  But I don’t know what that is.

And another letter finds its way into my inbox where words are malicious, mean, cruel, and evil.

It’s enough for one day. 

I literally fall into my bed feeling spent.  Weary.

And in those quiet moments, the Father takes me back to a journey we began together several months ago.  The one where He whispers to my heart that He would teach me (sometimes the hard way) what it means to live a grace-filled life.

I lie in the darkness, pondering that word and its meaning once again.  For the millionth time.


I am reminded once again that just as He called me to pour out an enormous amount of grace upon those who have harmed our new son and daughter—so He calls me to give it freely to those in my everyday life.

Abounding grace. And mercy.

Grace and mercy—they always go hand-in-hand.

 And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication.”  ~ Zech. 12:10

A spirit of grace.  That's exactly what it is!

That same grace my Savior so freely gave me is the same spirit I am called to lavish upon those He brings into my life.

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.”  ~ Acts 20:24

Wrapped up in the coziness of my electric blanket, I ponder the words of Paul as he faced painful and difficult times. The Message Bible paraphrases it like this:

But there is another urgency before me now. I feel compelled to go to Jerusalem. I’m completely in the dark about what will happen when I get there. I do know that it won’t be any picnic, for the Holy Spirit has let me know repeatedly and clearly that there are hard times and imprisonment ahead. But that matters little. What matters most to me is to finish what God started: the job the Master Jesus gave me of letting everyone I meet know all about this incredibly extravagant generosity of God.

I drink in the truth of the Word—it’s like water poured out on a dry and thirsty land.

I drink from the well that never runs dry.

As a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ, I too am called to ‘let everyone I meet know all about this incredibly extravagant generosity of God.’

The extravagant generosity of God! His abounding, extravagant, generous grace poured out for you and for me.  Every. Single. Day!

As a bondservant of the Lord Jesus Christ, I am required to give grace away.

Even when life makes no sense.

Even when my children are bickering about meaningless things.

Even when I read words which hurt.

Even when people let me down.

Even when I get so angry at the injustice I see each and every day.

And even when everything in me does NOT want to extend grace.  

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus~  Romans 3:23-24


I have such a long way to go in getting it right on most days.  

I only know that I long, with all my heart, to feel the same way Paul did when faced with the day-to-day trials.

To finish what God has started in my own life.

Telling those whom He brings into my life, and the ones who are already a part of my life…
we have ALL fallen short.

Because to withhold grace… to withhold a precious gift that we have so freely been given.

The most meaningful gifts are the ones we give away.

And give away.

And give away.

Learning to give grace…over and over and over again... it has been given to me.

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