But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6
As we near Christmas we need to remember that same grace that chose Bethlehem’s manger for God’s new born Son of God to lay in, has also chosen whatever struggles we face today. No matter what difficulty we are up against, today’s verse reminds us to abandon our own smarts, or strength. It reminds me of when I was about eight years old going with my step-father to visit his architectural firm. There, everywhere I looked large tables were filled with blueprints. My step-dad put me up on a chair so I could see and flipped through some of his plans. To my eight year old mind those pages looked more like a tangle of arrows and lines than anything useful. But He just smiled and slowly showed me how those arrows and lines would one day become beautiful new buildings. Today standing at the edge of old age I sometimes feel like that little boy again. I Look back and recall the unstoppable tears at the death of my parents, my terrifying visits to the emergency room for back pain and my wife’s battle with cancer. In the heat of those moments they just seemed like aimless and terrifying attacks. Though I know that in God’s design He has been working from a blueprint for good, I still need His grace to calm my heart and help me trust His plan.
The blueprints on God’s workbench are covered with the lines and plans of His grace. We may not see it but we are each a part of His design. One day together we will be completed in the beautiful home He has designed for us all. He often chooses that our struggles today, will become a comfort that we can give to someone else tomorrow. If we humbly ask in prayer, “Father what is this confusing jumble of lines and arrows written on your blueprint of grace for me?” He will delight in explaining just enough of His plan to gently lead us down our path today.