It sure would be nice if you could easily handle anything and everything that happened in your life. Indeed, there are times when you are able to pretty successfully juggle everything that comes your way. But there are also many other times when you seriously begin to wonder whether you’ll be able to make it without everything crashing down around you. That’s why God’s promise that you will not only survive the bad things that happen, but also thrive in the midst of them is so amazing. That is, until you think about it and realize it’s not a surprise at all. Because that’s exactly what you would expect of God who has an astonishing knack for taking anything that happens when life happens and using it to accomplish God’s Will in your life.
I try my best, I really do. But I also know the truth. And it’s not pretty. In fact, it’s so painful it causes my soul to ache.
I hurt You deeply. I hurt others deeply. I hurt myself deeply.
Forgive me, Lord. Please forgive me. But more than that, transform me. From the top of my head to the tips of my toes. From the inside out. Every part of me. Especially those parts I want to pretend don’t exist.
Do it with Love that accepts me just the way I am. Love that is not content to leave me the way I am. Love that will never let go of me.
So today, Lord, let me experience the depth and breadth of Your love. The power of Your forgiveness. And the joy of Your new life.
I’m ready, Lord.
I’m so ready.
God’s gift of grace is not just religious jargon, it’s real. Absolutely real. Powerfully real. So real it comes when you least expect it in the exact doses you need. But what do you have to do for grace to become real when it seems as if your life is filled with everything but grace? Believe that God loves you, even when you are filled with doubt. Trust that God is at work in your life helping you become the person God has created you to be, even when you are struggling. Act as if this gift God gives you is the most powerful reality in your life, even when you have more questions than you can ask. Do these things and you will begin to live in that realm where grace is not only real – it is the most real thing of all.
Life is often chaotic. It’s sometimes painful. It’s always filled with surprises. And there is nothing you can do to change this reality. So don’t waste your time denying the way things are and hoping ‘it will all be just the way I want it to be’. Instead, turn to God who always knows what you need and trust that God is at work giving it to you. Sometimes suddenly and miraculously. At other times gradually. And at still other times, patiently helping you let go of the old so you can embrace the new. So don’t live your life trying to deny real life – instead, trust God. Don’t spend your life attempting to manipulate God – instead, trust God. And don’t devote your life seeking everything to work out the way you think it should – instead, trust God. Indeed, always trust God.
You have a fundamental choice to make about how are you going to respond to all the horrible things going on in the world. You can become cynical, filled with despair and give up. Or you can let God’s love – which just happens to be the most powerful force in the universe – shape you from the inside-out so it changes what you see, what you experience and what you want do even in the worst of situations. If you choose God, it won’t magically enable you to single-handedly fix the refugee crisis, stop your friend’s addiction, change the tone of political discourse in our nation or stop sex trafficking. But it will make you more joyful, compassionate, hopeful and generous. While that may not seem like much, it will make all the difference in the world – to you, to others and to God.