Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Pure and Sweet Grace

Have you ever been in a situation where there seems to be too much hurt, pain, and pride involved for anything to be salvageable? Just seems like too much damage has been done, you are calling it a total loss, just letting it be what it is and moving on. It is what it is and I'm accepting that. Then God begins to tug at your heart, you feel unsettled and chaotic in your mind.  You cry out to God, "What is this? What do you want me to do with this?" This is where I am at right now. 

A sweet friend gave encouragement to me by reminding me about God, "He has a plan... trust & believe!!! He NEVER wastes a hurt!!! He loves you that much!!!" My response was thanks for the encouragement and thanks for being my friend despite all my insanity moments.  I am really trying to trust in that, feel like I have messed things up so bad it seems almost impossible but also know I'm looking at this through my eyes not God's! 

Isaiah 55:8 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord.

I poured out my heart to God in prayer on this particular morning just being as real as real can be.  Boy it was oogly, not ugly but oogly! And we all know what is involved with the oogly cry! :)

I asked for peace and resolve in this heart ache, asked for clarity, asked for encouragement for Him because I am feeling lower then low on this morning.  I begged Him for something, please just give me something to take away the pain even if for a moment.  I finished my prayer time with "As you said in Jeremiah 32:27, you can handle all these prayer request, all these issues, all these people, because you are the Lord, the God of all mankind, anything is not too hard for you, Amen."

I have paused on the Experiencing God study.  I felt God calling me to pause even for just a little while.  I have the study "Discerning the voice of God" by Priscilla Shirer.  It is short, but oh so powerful!  After prayer, I opened the study and just asked God for a nugget, please, send me a crumb to help with this pain in my heart, speak Lord because I am listening.  The study opened with this, "We often want to immediately run a head the moment we hear God's leading and direction.  Instead of walking in daily obedience, we desire to see the end result of God's plan instantly." There was that word again, DAILY.   After that I knew if that was all He gave me for the day, that was enough.  That is not how God works though, He does not just give you enough to get by, He gives you MORE then enough, He gives abundantly to His children because of His great love for us.  The part of the study is walking through Habakkuk.  Habakkuk's need for patience was so great, the Lord reminded Habakkuk to not carry out His plan before it was time!

Habakkuk 2:3 "For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay."

Then Priscilla pointed me to read Genesis 18:9-18, when I read verse 14, I got chills and burst into tears.  I had an encounter with God in that moment! Verse 14 says, "Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you..." Do you remember my prayer from Jeremiah, the question God asks, "Is anything too hard for me?" God is reminding me He is Lord, anything is not too hard for Him to handle.  We can't dig a hole too big for Him to not to handle, we can't go too far for Him not to handle, we can't do so much wrong for Him not to handle.  He is the Lord, creator of heaven and earth.  He can do anything! Anything! 

Anything is defined as any object, person, idea, or circumstance whatever.  No limits, I think that covers it all!  We can't screw up so bad that God can't redeem it.  Just as Sarah and Abraham in their old age, God can provide them a son.  As with Moses, God parting the Red Sea to save the Israelites. As with Daniel, God saving him from the mouths of the lions.  It goes on and on.  Those situations seemed so crazy and like it was inevitable they would loose, but with God anything is possible.  God can provide, heal, and redeem all things.  But the common thread is only with God not just ourselves.  I know that God allows the ugly situations in our lives to become oogly so that when healing comes, we make no mistake that it was all Him who healed and redeemed, nothing from ourselves. 

Ephesians 2:8-9 "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast."

Grace is what God uses to heal and redeem the crap we create in our lives.  Grace, pure, sweet grace, the free gift from God!  God has been telling me to wait, wait, wait, now He is pulling it all together this morning with "Is this too big for me? Coleen, you think you have messed this up royally, to the point it can't be fixed, but I can redeem it all, even in this ugliness, I can redeem!" He's got this, I don't need to do anything but pray and trust in my faith and my awesome God!

Those situations we walk in our lives that make no sense as to how they worked out, or how we have peace in the end, or we think it is just too broken to be fixed, is only a gift from God.  It is His grace He bestows on us, so that we can not boast in ourselves.  It is not from anything we did for ourselves.  It is by grace alone, from God alone, that we have been saved.  

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