Today may be one of those kinds of days. The kind that are difficult and challenging. The kind that make you wonder how you’re going to get through it . The kind that seem to happen far more often than you have the energy for. But here’s the thing about every single one of those kinds of day. God gives you more than enough grace to deal with them. Of course, you can’t order up the kind of grace you think you need or tell God when it’s time to shower you with it. It doesn’t work that way. But here’s what you can do. Trust God enough to expect this grace, look for it with the eyes of your heart and, when it comes, thank God you are getting exactly what you need in exactly the way you need it at just the time you need it.
You live in a world filled with global issues like Covid-19, the struggle for racial justice, our nation’s deep polarization and global poverty that robs children of the life God has created them to live. You also have a very personal world in which you wake up every day, and do the best you can to be a responsible citizen, love those close to you, find some happiness and feel safe. It probably seems as if you have to live in two different worlds at the same time that have little connection to each other. But the good news is that God is at work in all of it, bringing healing, justice, hope and joy. And the more you lean into your relationship with God, the more you will discover it’s all God’s world.
It’s been a long journey, but I have discovered I must deal with the reality of life as it is – and not how I think it should be – if I want to live with faith, purpose, integrity, hope and joy. This challenges me to come to grips with several important realities. Life is not fair, it’s sometimes random, bad things do happen to good people, people I love will suffer and sin is a reality. But it’s also led me to embrace a second reality that is actually far more important and powerful than this, but can be difficult to comprehend because it is accessed only by faith. God has created me in God’s own image and loves me; Jesus is my Savior, Lord, brother and companion in life; and the Holy Spirit is at work comforting, challenging and empowering me to live as a Jesus’ follower. So here’s what it means for me when I put these two things together. Living by faith has far more impact on the quality of my life than reacting to the reality that surrounds me every day ever will.
It’s a new day. It may seem a lot like yesterday. And the day before that and the day before that. What you need to remember – and not only remember, but embrace – is that it’s your day. This is because you can do a great deal to determine what difference your day will make to you and others. And also to God. Will this be a day where you grow deeper in your relationship with Jesus, discover something new in this wonderful gift of life or help someone who needs it? Or will this be a day in which you just go through the motions of living? Thankfully, you don’t have to do this day alone. Because God’s got it. And God has some surprises in store for you.
Grace is God’s unconditional love that just is. You are loved by God before you know you are loved, when you act in ways that most people would conclude would negate that love, and even if you turn your back on that love. Grace is God’s invitational love that welcomes you into a personal life-changing relationship with Jesus as your Lord and Savior. You experience the joy of an intimate relationship with Jesus who loves you so much he willingly died for you, and that cannot be taken away regardless of what happens in life or death. Grace is God’s transforming love that changes you from the inside-out through the patient and unceasing work of the Holy Spirit. You discover that your heart, mind and attitude change, and this leads to your words, actions and interactions becoming vastly different. Be it God’s unconditional, invitational or transformational love, grace is life.
Your love is the foundation of the world. Your love gets personal, and offers salvation in Jesus Christ. Your love penetrates brokenness, and brings healing. Your love envelopes sadness, and replaces it with joy. Your love confronts suffering, and inaugurates justice. Your love deals with everything and anything, and plants seeds of hope.
Thank You for this love that is the beginning and end of everything. Thank You for this love that changes life. Thank You for this love that even embraces me.
May I live in this love now and forever more.