Oh friends, these words are speaking straight to my heart today. More and more hard news. More and more of wondering where God is in this world. More and more of wondering when God's peace will prevail. But what I do know is that God's grace always prevails.
It can be so hard for us to see God's grace in a world that is bombarded by hard news, war, hatred, violence and so much more. Yet the good news is that God's grace has a way of showing up in the most unexpected places and in the most unexpected love. I am reminded of the words to the well-known hymn "Amazing Grace": "Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, And grace my fears relieved; How precious did that grace appear; The hour I first believed.; Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come; 'Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home." (Amazing Grace Lyrics)
Yes, it is this grace that will lead us home. Yet I know that it is often so very hard for us to trust in that promise. We want God to give us a GPS to direct us along life's journey. We want our answers to be as instant as an instant message from a friend. But God does give us a GPS, just not the kind of GPS we want and are looking for in our lives. God's GPS is God's grace positioning system! Can you think of all the times and places when God's GPS has shown up in your lives?
"For it is by grace through faith that you have been saved, it is not your own doing but a gift of God"----Ephesians 2:8 (New Revised Standard Version)
It took me a long time to realize that grace is this free unmerited gift that God gives to each and every one of us. Yet grace isn't wrapped in a pretty bow. Grace is an amazing gift that comes with no pretty strings, ribbons or bows attached to it. It is simply set out onto the table for us to receive. But are we willing to receive it?
I have come to accept and receive this unmerited gift with open arms because it has blessed me in more ways than I can ever count or imagine. Grace is what has helped me live as a daughter of a woman who daily struggles with a mental illness. Grace is what helped me graduate seminary when I thought that was an impossible task. Grace is what has continually shown me again and again the power of God's love for all of God's people.
And because I have received this gift and seen the power of grace in my own life, I want to continually show it to others. Because in showing God's grace, we see, not only glimpses but full images of a visible God that often feels invisible in this world. But it is in these moments and gifts of grace that God's invisibility becomes visible to all of God's people.
"Now God has us where God wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust in him enough to let him do it. It's God's gift from start to finish! We don't play the major role! If we did, we'd probably go around bragging that we'd done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. God creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing."--Ephesians 2:7-10 (The Message)
An upbeat video for your Tuesday afternoon!
"This is Amazing Grace"-Phil Wickham
"This is Amazing Grace"-Phil Wickham
(And on that note, I am excited to share with you my Write 31 Days topic. I will be sharing 31 Stories of God's Grace." After reading that quote by Paul Tripp today, God confirmed that this is exactly what God is calling me to share about. My hope and prayer is that these 31 stories of God's grace will make us see a sometimes invisible God as a visible God. Join me throughout the month of October for these dear stories of God's grace!)
I am linking up with these faith-filled women this week: