Well it was a dark, stormy Monday morning here today. While we really need the rain, and I love hearing it these mornings while I'm curled up with my Bible and my coffee, I always worry about my sweet husband and everyone else who is out driving in it. The worst of it seems to have blown through, so for that I am thankful!
This morning I was having my not-so-quiet quiet time while the thunder was crashing outside, and soon enough I had a shaky, scared mini dachshund in my lap. Oh, how he hates storms! So, I held that little whining, shaky dog, reassuring him that everything would be okay, while I prayed to my Heavenly Father, bringing Him everything that totally scares me. I saw the similarities immediately. The storms rage, and God, Who sees the big picture (the radar) knows it will soon pass and that it is bringing something much-needed into my life, but I sit, whining, shaking and restless in His lap. During my prayer time I had my Bible open to a passage I had read in the book of James. As I was praying through my ever-familiar "junk" that it seems I always have to ask forgiveness for, I was actually starting to become discouraged with my struggle with the same old things. While in some areas I see growth and fruit so readily, there seem to be certain issues, my besetting sins I suppose, that I continue to bring to Him day after day. What is UP with that???
When I opened my eyes to comfort my trembling, scared little dog, my eyes fell upon a verse that jumped right out at me because I had color-coded it during a previous study: "But He gives a greater grace." (James 4:6a) Well, that says it all, doesn't it? I should write that on the inside of my glasses today and see everything through those words. He gives a greater grace than that storm that's blowing outside my window. He gives a greater grace than my Grandmother's undiagnosed illness. He gives a greater grace than a car accident on a rainy commute to work. He gives a greater grace than parenting challenges. He gives a greater grace than any sin I could bring to the table. And I love the "but". "But" puts whatever comes before it in a different light. Focusing on my fleshly shortcoming is a form of pride, and on earthly challenges breeds fear. Say what I may, I can tag that "but He gives a greater grace" onto the end of it and that changes everything! In that moment I recognize His sovereignty. I love it. Thank you, Lord.
Yesterday while the rest of the family was setting up for our final Awana awards ceremony (under our leadership), Minte and I had the privilege of welcoming home his most recent friend from the orphanage. Welcome Ellie!!!
There's a picture of "greater grace" right there! There are children in orphanages with no families. But, He gives a greater grace. Sometimes parents experience fertility issues. But, He gives a greater grace. The adoption process and the costs involved sometimes seem insurmountable. But, He gives a greater grace. Sometimes Mommies have surgeries just weeks before they are to travel to bring home their new child, and think they cannot travel. But He gives a greater grace. To follow Ellie's story, visit her family's blog here.
Maybe you are considering adoption, either for the first time or a subsequent time, and feel like there are barriers. Or maybe you are in the midst of an adoption and have hit a wall. I encourage you to speak those very real obstacles aloud to yourself (and to God) today, and then tag it with "but He gives a greater grace, " humble yourself before the Lord, and see what happens!