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Some thoughts on grace...

Sunday, June 7, 2009

So, maybe you noticed that the title of this post has a lower case "g" in the word grace. This post is not primarily about our new little sweetie, but it is certainly no accident that in the midst of God's teaching me about His abundant grace, He has given us our Grace. So, I'll start my story with Grace's name.

When we decided to adopt again, I knew beyond a doubt that our new daughter's name was Grace. This is not a name that I "have always loved" or thought that we would use for one of our children. I actually hadn't given it much thought, but when we saw our daughter's picture for the first time, I knew that her name was Grace. In a very diplomatic fashion (ha!), I said to David, "We can call her anything that you want. But, I know that her name is Grace." Hmmm...how's a guy to argue with that?!

So, fast forward through a heart-wrenching and difficult year, a year where we were going along some tough roads and were seeking with all of our hearts to be obedient to the One who loves us beyond compare, a year where we messed up on a regular basis and got back up simply out of faith in the One who is faithful, a year in which God was preparing us to--you guessed it--receive His grace.

It all started upon our arrival home from China. We had had an incredible journey and had returned home with a beautiful treasure. A couple of weeks later, on my first real prayer day after arriving home, I was talking to the Lord about some things that were discouraging me (illness, loneliness, etc.). He told me very clearly: But I am giving you everything that you need. I have been caring for you. You have been given grace. Yikes. Talk about a reality check. Here I was complaining when it suddenly became very clear to me that the God of the Universe was for me. He was caring for me and loving me at that very moment.

Over the next few months, God began pouring out His grace upon me in incredible ways. For example, in the midst of almost all of the families in our church getting the flu , I stayed completely healthy. In fact, during the typcial "sick" time of year, I did not have one illness. God also provided abundantly for us in our finances. We've always had "barely enough" or "just enough" and now we were constantly experiencing things like Jadon's dentist saying that he was going to write off his braces because of his cl/cp ($3000) and receiving three checks in the mail when we got home from vacation (none of which we were expecting). All of this was in the midst of David working very little. So, there is no way for us to even think that it was our doing. Oh no! It was totally God!

He also began showing Himself very present to me in my times of prayer. There has been a closeness in our relationship that I do not think I have ever experienced before. Our precious son, Adam, has also began to experience the radical closeness and presence of God. What a gift this has been!

Imagine, then, my surprise (and utter enjoyment) when during the lenten season, a friend at church said that the Lord had told her that we were going to be experiencing a season of grace. She spoke to the church and she must have used the word grace about 15 times. I was praising God! I had already been experiencing it and I knew that it was true!

Then imagine my even further enjoyment when, about a month ago, our pastor began teaching on grace. Oh, this is getting good now. I have been learning so much (but that's for another post...). I can hardly stand it! I want to shout from the rooftops! God's grace is abundant! He is so good!!!!!

The physical manifestations of God's love (finances, health, intimacy, etc.) were (and continue to be) God's grace to me. But I want to emphasize something. They were God's grace to me. Our God is very personal. He knows just what we need and just when we need it. He knows that I needed to see His love and grace in a very physical way right now. So, He poured it out. That's just how He is--an abundant lover. At other times in my life, He knew that the grace could only come as I emptied myself in humility and difficult obedience. So, I experienced His grace in discipline. There again, He poured it out (in kindness). That's just how He is--an abundant lover.

I know that this is a season (so cool that our friend at church also said that it was a season of grace, because it is what God had been telling me, as well). It is a season of preparation. God is always preparing us to love more. He is always preparing us to give. So, if I thought that the financial provision, or the health or His presence were just for myself, then I would no longer be receiving grace. The things that were a gift of His grace would become a curse. I can't wait to see how He uses this time to His glory!

One more thing...After church a couple of weeks ago, a friend came up to me. Grace was dancing around my feet. She said, "She's really God's grace, isn't she? Really. God's grace." Oh, our God is good! He couldn't let me know any more clearly! His grace is wonderful!

7 comments:

Ohilda said...

What a beautiful post! Thank you for stopping by my blog. Your family is precious. And yes...God's grace is SO good!

Mrs. L. said...

OH wow, Sarah!! This post is another great one.. but what is even more intereting is that God is trying to tell me lately about His grace as well.. I don't have the full understanding of it, but that's okay. In time, I will..

Once again, thank you for your faithfulness of allowing God to use you.

Hugs,
Sarah

Mrs. L. said...

p.s sorry for my little mistakes in my comments.. =]

Audrey said...

What a lovely post! Thank you for sharing. God's grace. It's all we really need, isn't it??

Jean said...

Awesome post! God is so good and his grace is exactly what we need! He continuously blesses us! Thank you Jesus!!
Blessings,
Jean

Jill and Rick said...

Sarah, what a beautiful post.

Jill

Gwen said...

Sarah,
I love this post. Thank you for reminding me of God's faithfulness in all things. "Letting go" and trusting God is often a hard thing for me to do.

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