August 6, 2014

Grace for EVERY Mess

I've seen heartache.
I've been broken.
I've lived through tragedy.
I've had my life interrupted.


Both welcomed by the consequences of my sinfulness and unwelcome by unexpected hurts, unforeseen circumstances, the frustrations of life and the death of my husband.  

I can believe for GRACE for those things that were unwelcome and unexpected. Grace to embrace and face the moment no matter what that moments hands me. 

Even in my husband's death, Every moment was FILLED with grace.  I was FLOODED with GRACE.
Grace came with PEACE and HOPE and it settled ---HERE.

I saw grace behind me.  In front of me.  WITH me.  and it was IN me.  
Grace to keep moving.  Grace to find JOY in the grief.  Grace to be a mom.  Grace to see to all the things that needed to be seen to with the WISDOM to back it up.  Grace for my mistakes. Grace to live each day with HOPE and anticipation. Grace to appreciate the yesterdays I had with him and Grace to appreciate my tomorrows withOUT him.  Grace to leave the past behind so we can look forward.
Grace to understand and grace to accept what I could not understand.  
When Justin went home and stepped out of this world---GRACE stepped in.  GOD became everything to us that He promised He would be. 
If that sounds unfeeling and insincere then you've never experienced this kind of grace.

But Grace for my sin?
I will admit that for a time I struggled with the understanding that Grace covered ALL.  

Grace was ENOUGH for EVERY heartache.  Even if it was invited.  
Somehow I was left feeling that everyONE else was entitled to more GRACE but I had used up my allotment and was a DISgrace. I have disappointed Him so many times I imagine He TOLERATES me at best....but to enthusiastically welcome me with open arms?
That's for the woman who has her act together, her home in order, one who embodies grace, one who doesn't have any "red on her ledger".

How can I believe for Grace when I've invited the heartache?  When I've CHOSEN to step outSIDE the boundaries of Grace to do things MY way?  

Somewhere we've come to believe the lie that the smallest mistake or flaw RENDERS US USELESS to the kingdom of God and those around us.
The BIBLE is FULL of stories of men and women who were just that.....IMPERFECT. Those were the people Jesus reached out to. Those were the people He singled out. Where KINDNESS met imperfection. Where GRACE collides with HUMANITY. And in that same story we see MIRACLES, REDEMPTION and RESTORATION take place that otherwise couldn't happen unless they first were honest with GOD and with each other.
When we are transparent before God and allow Him to see us in all of our vulnerability it is only THEN He has something to work with.

So He shows me.  Another opportunity for Grace.  An opportunity for redemption ---- even HERE -----
A broken and repentant heart He will NEVER turn away. Psalm 51:17
In fact?
He INVITES me.  LONGS for me to release it all from my grasp and TRUST Him with it.

HOW often do we run from GOD when we have found ourselves in a mess?
In a mess we've made with our own hands.  
We fear the consequences.  We somehow think He was watching...waiting to CATCH YOU IN ONE WRONG MOVE and then SLAM down the gavel in favor AGAINST us.
Oh, friends, we've got it all wrong.
Running FROM Him will always lead us to a dead end.
There we will not find the answers or HOPE we are looking for.
Running will ALWAYS keep us in a prison of denial. 
........ a CONSTANT struggle trying to stay one step ahead of the walls caving in on us.

If only we could SEE it.
He's WAITING! Not to execute judgment.  He who is without SIN has every moral authoritative RIGHT to do so.  But the ONLY one who has both the authority to condemn you and the mercy to pardon you chooses mercy.......and is WAITING for you to COME to Him.  Not run FROM Him.  

He is our DEFENDER.  Our RESCUER. Our DELIVERER.  Our SECURE place. The ONE who will make all things RIGHT when we've done it all wrong!!!!

There is NO place we can run where He does not pursue us. 
 He wants to bring us to a place of ABSOLUTE DEPENDENCE AND TOTAL TRUST.

To trust Him with the consequences of our actions. 
Trust Him to fix the mess we've made and redeem it somehow. 
Trust Him to love us regardless of the mistakes we've made. 
Trust Him that asking for HELP is far better than trying to go it on our own. 
TRUST Him that He has our best interest at heart and that perhaps He knows things that we don't know after all

..... and when we've learned the art of FULL surrender we will find nothing but blessings and PEACE wait for us.  

There is GRACE for all of it. 

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