Thursday, November 13

Evidences of Grace

Only 3 days after I received the roses, life changed, again. In the last three weeks, I have found myself asking questions I thought I had answered and wading through feelings supposedly dead and buried. I feel pulled backward and afraid of becoming stuck here. Wasn't I past this?

And, honestly, I find myself asking God why? I thought I was turning a corner in the tunnel which would lead me down the last few steps out into the open air only to find the corner another passageway in itself.

We all have those days, weeks, years—seasons of life—when it takes every fiber in your being to trust God and continue in obedience and joy. To some extent the last two years have been that season for me. In the midst of the gray and sometimes lonely road, I have found two (at least) helpful activities:

Look for God’s grace here. Be vigilant in asking God to open your eyes to what He is doing even now. Be sensitive to moments you hear His voice or see His provision. And when you see those “evidences of grace,” no matter how small, tell people about them—praising God will help you to focus on His presence and sovereignty in this place. Don’t stop there though: write these evidences of grace down.

What am I praising God for today? Well, in these past three weeks, I have had the opportunity to be prayed with by three separate sisters who let me cry, spoke encouragement to my heart, and were each led to pray passages of Scripture which the Holy Spirit had already brought to my mind. Their presence alone is an evidence of grace. The reality that these dear friends reaffirmed words which God had already spoken to me is evidence that He is here. More than here.

Similarly, remind yourself of God’s history of grace, both scripturally and personally. Just as the 12 memorial stones stood beside the Jordan after Israel crossed it on dry ground, the Bible stands as our record, our sign, of the might, love, and wonder of the God who has acted on behalf of His people (Joshua 4:1-10; cf. Deuteronomy 6). The Old Testament, specifically Psalms and 1 & 2 Samuel, has been particularly sweet to me because of the record of how often the God of the Universe intervenes on behalf of His people. Remember His character. Likewise, spend some time reading back over old journals or notes from years past; remember God’s legacy of grace in your life as well. This is why I would encourage you to write the evidences of grace down as you become aware of them. On those days when I can’t see God’s provision in my life, I pull out my little black notebook and remind myself of what He did or showed me yesterday, last month, or two years ago. Doing this, allows me the opportunity to "Remember," an encouragement which is given at least 25 times in the Old Testament.

In my next post, I’ll invite you into one moment in God’s history of grace with me. But first...

It’s your turn. To this point in my short blogging history, I haven’t asked for anyone’s participation—but I would be so encouraged to hear about what you see as God's evidence of grace to you now. I would ask you to e-mail me (or leave a comment below) concerning something God has done for you in the last month, something only He could orchestrate, knowing your need. I would truly love the opportunity to praise the Lord with you for His provision in your walk with Him.

1 comment:

ed elliott said...

I didn't want this beautiful post to be without comment. A Google search of the phrase, "evidences of grace," brought me to your site. The reason I searched that phrase is my comment here. You see, I like to think of myself as full of grace toward others...BUT, as God so graciously does, he shows me when sin and selfishness, and self-righteousness so stealthily invade my fallen heart. Today, I listed to a sermon on the way to work by CJ Mahaney on "Evidences of Grace" and Christian leadership. God used this wise message to show me how instead of loving my son and my precious ministry partner, I was harboring all kinds of criticisms toward them. How quickly we begin to store criticism, which leads to weak love and then slander. Today, I am yet again enthralled by my Savior who has yet again rescued me from myself. Now, I am dwelling on all the evidences of grace in my son and my ministry partner, and I can't wait to tell them the grace of God I see in their lives.