Yesterday, when I posted Matt Redman's song "Your Grace Finds Me," the lyrics in the first verse really jumped out at me. "It's there in the newborn cry." I have heard that song many, many, many times but for some reason, yesterday those words especially jumped out at me. I think it is because I have indeed seen God's grace come through a newborn baby's cry or a toddler's first words.
A dear camp friend and her husband gave birth to a daughter seven years ago. They have been trying to get pregnant ever since. Their hopes would get high and then they would be dashed by experiencing yet another miscarriage. My heart broke for them. But then, this last year, they finally got pregnant. I remember family pictures they took that said "For this child we have prayed." Indeed they had prayed. Little Miss Amelia was born into this world this past August. The minute I met her and held her in my arms, I was so very thankful that God hears our cries and that God's grace is given to us freely.
Sometimes, God's grace doesn't come in the ways we expect it either. I think of my dear cousin who is mother to two children who are both with Jesus in heaven. I cannot understand why she would be blessed by these children to have them taken away from her. Yet in the midst of her grief, I have seen my cousin make a difference by talking and supporting other families who have experienced loss. I have also seen my cousin blessed in so many other ways too.
I also think of a college friend and her family. Several years ago, they decided to adopt. I have prayed with and beside them. I remember a couple of Lents ago when I was praying through my Facebook friend's list when she had asked me to pray. I prayed. And literally days later, she messaged me to let me know they had gotten a call from their adoption agency. My friend and her husband flew to Bulgaria to meet their new daughter where she was living in an orphanage. God indeed orchestrated this family reunion. The minute my friend saw her daughter, she smiled. They both are graced with beautifully flowing tight curls. It has indeed been a difficult journey for my friend, her husband, and their boys because their daughter has had her struggles. But the gift of God's grace is that she is continuing to grow and thrive as part of her family.
These are only some of the stories of God's grace being met through a newborn baby's cry or through a toddler's first words. There are so many other stories I could share with; the story of my seminary classmates and friends who got pregnant and adopted in the same year. Each of these stories is filled with the beauty and gift of God's grace in our lives. God's grace always finds us. God's grace is "there in the darkest night of the soul and it is there in the sweetest songs of victory."
In fact, as I type these words, tears are streaming down my face as I am reminded of the amazing beauty and elegance of God's grace that is freely given to each and every one of us. God places it on the table for us to receive. Sometimes it just takes a while for God to place it into our own hands or for us to see it sitting upon the table of grace. (Perhaps I should listen to my own words here! It is a truth I know...but in the words of my friend Karrilee, sometimes I forget!)