Friday, July 24, 2009

Enduring Grace

Wouldn't it be great if I had a fun, splashy, summer-y photo to the left of this post? Maybe a shot of my kids having a great time at the pool together... or maybe one of Minte zipping down the slip-n-slide, or playing at the water park where we finally bought memberships this year. Or maybe catching a big fish, like he finally did last week. Or hitting golf balls at the driving range, or being silly at Vacation Bible School or enjoying time with cousins. All of these pictures would go perfect with this post. But, I don't have them. Either they are living on the memory card inside my camera (which is at the lake with the rest of my family) or I didn't snap photos... they are simply in my mind. But that is what our summer has been like so far. So fun, so blessed.

I can't believe it's been a month since I've blogged! In that month we have swam, played, enjoyed a visit from my brother and his precious family, enjoyed some activities with family friends who are hosting a wonderful foreign exchange student from France, felt the heat index climb to almost 110 and then feel "cool" when it gets down to the mid-90's... ah, summer in Texas. All good stuff!

We are having a great summer, but I'm not very "together" at the moment! I guess saying that implies that at times I *do* have it "together," and that's probably not the case. It's just that I'm in a season where God has lifted the veil, the scales have fallen from my eyes, and I've realized how very little I really have "together." Ack!!! Not a fun realization. But that's where my faithful Heavenly Father steps in and reminds me that it's been Him all along, not me. Any shred of "togetherness" is always Him. And that's what I'm trying to tap into once more.

But, I'm tired. I'm trying to find the motivation to organize a few areas of my house. I'm trying to stick with a particularly challenging Bible study topic. I'm REALLY trying to get our upcoming school year organized and I'm finding I'm caught between logging/recording last year's work and planning next year's work. I'm experiencing "analysis paralysis." I'm trying to be a good steward of our money. I'm trying to stay faithful to my workouts at the gym, which I started back in the spring. Ugh. So much! How I need God's faithful, sovereign, ever-present grace. I need what John Piper calls God's "sustaining grace."

In His sovereignty, God ordained that I would listen to a Piper podcast on this very morning about this very thing. Endurance. And in His wisdom, He knew that I would hear this poem that would help me remember what His "enduring grace" really is, and how it puts it all in perspective. How I love this about my God. He knows what I need to hear, when I need to hear it. I didn't need this as much a few weeks ago as I did this very morning, and He ordained that I would hear it now. I'm sharing it with you, and maybe it's just for such a time as this that you are reading this today.

According to Piper, God's sustaining grace is:

"Not grace that bars what is not bliss
Nor flight from all distress but this:
The grace that orders our trouble and pain,
And then in the darkness is there to sustain."

SO helpful to me today. The faith I've had in the past, the trajectory my spiritual life has been on in previous months and years will not guarantee my path today. Only God's sovereign grace will keep me a believer, will keep me on the path on which I need to walk. He'll get me over the obstacles. He'll keep me believing. What a promise!


Linda said...

It is so good to hear from you again Cyndi - you have been missed!
I think I know how you feel. It would be nice if the Lord would somehow make everything easy and light. There are times, though, in His wisdom when He knows that we need to trust in that sustaining grace. I'm right there with you.
Praying grace and peace will fill your heart.

Cheryl Read said...

Love this. Thank you for sharing your heart.

Jill said...

I also have missed your posts, but I can't talk since mine have also been so hit and miss. Sounds like you are having a full and fun Summer. Looking forward to hearing what you are planning for your school year.

kristinleighkelly said...

Ditto, ditto, ditto...our lives sound eerily similar. Saw a tiny glimpse of you @ church last night...sorry I didn't get to say "hi" to you. Happy to see you back on the blog. ~klk

Tricia said...

Praise Him for his grace!!! I am amazed by it daily.