Monday, April 27, 2009

A Greater Grace

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!


Tricia said...

Grace....that word means so much to me. In more ways than one!

Jill said...

Thanks so much to both you and Minte for coming out to welcome us home! And, indeed He provided us grace greater than we ever knew throughout our 16 month journey to Ellie Tsion.

Emily said...

Oh, I just love that verse in James!! We studied James in CBS this challenging and convicting, and yet encouraging. Thanks for reminding me!