And Yet God’s Grace

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness…” 2 Corinthians 12:9a

There is nothing I like about weakness, and I loathe the inabilities that have come with age. My fingers sometimes ache when I play my guitar and my voice takes time out for lunch while I am trying to finish a song. There is so much that needs to be done which requires, more strength, endurance and intelligence than I possess – and Yet God inexplicably delights in those moments. When I am no longer capable of once very ordinary things, God’s grace that lay dormant in my younger more capable days, becomes active.

I hate sitting and only listening when I feel I should speak. It is frustrating to spend nights tossing and turning over struggles which should be old hat by now and-Yet God- has promised that even when I can no longer trust myself, I can trust that He will give me grace. His grace is enough in every need. His grace is enough when I cannot understand. His grace is enough when my plans tangle like threads which His fingers alone can unknot and weave into a beautiful tapestry. His grace is enough when I cannot sing a note to give me song in the night. Oh yes – I do not love my weakness – and Yet God- has promised that in my weakness His power and strength will be made perfect, His grace will carry us through, and He will get all the glory and praise!

2 Corinthians 12:9b
Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, 
so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.   

Simplicity by the Lake

As promised I’m sharing some of the photos from our getaway to a cottage called Simplicity. Now the funny thing is that most accomodations begin by giving a list of what is included – a pool, cable television, breakfast and free shuttle service. But the wonderful thing about Simplicity what it doesn’t offer!

Having four days of no cell service, no tv, no internet or even a daily schedule were an amazing blessing. Instead we discovered a flock of turkeys sleeping in a corn field, a deer grazing in the backyard by our car and a mist rising from the lake at dawn. Most of all there was time to pray and to talk things over with God. Busyness is often the excuse I use to put off till another day what God wants changed right now.

Last year after our first stay at the cottage I couldn’t wait to go back. Now I am wondering why I can’t allow more space for quietness right where we live. I learned that slowing down didn’t mean doing nothing, but instead allowing time for what mattered most. Simplicity is not just a cottage by a lake. It is a choice that Jesus is calling for us to make. What will you do with the 24 hours He is giving you today?

For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you. 2 Corinthians 1:12 ESV

Impossible Mountains

And he dreamed and behold there was a ladder set up on the earth and the top of it reached to heaven. And behold the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. Genesis 28:12 ESV

If you or a loved one have been living in long term care throughout this pandemic it might seem like a long climb up some impossible mountains from in front of you today to get back to normal. Today let’s look at someone in the Bible who also had a long way to climb. Jacob had lied to his father, tricked his bother into giving up his inheritance and was in the process of running for his life. The first night of his journey Jacob found himself out in the wilderness, without even a tent for shelter. He was so tired that he lay down with his head on a rock and fell fast asleep. That night God sent Jacob an intriguing dream. In spite of being totally undeserving of mercy God chose to show Himself to Jacob standing at the top of a staircase or a ladder to Heaven. I always thought this was a pretty neat story but never got the part about what it had to do with me.

Did you know that the Bible is just like Jacob’s ladder? It is an amazing book! First it reaches from Heaven all the way to earth. It is the only thing we can hold in our hands and know that it came from God. Second, just like the ladder in Jacob’s dream, God is standing at the top of it telling us of His loving plan for our lives. Like Jacob, even when it seems as if we are left alone God comes and reminds us that He is with us. Last of all our ladder is filled with angels. Some are climbing up carrying our prayers to God and others are coming down with God’s answers when we are in trouble. Most of all we have the Bible; which is God’s message that we can trust Him with our lives. It reminds us that there is nowhere we can go that His grace towards us through Jesus Christ cannot reach and that H e will help us to climb impossible mountains- even in long term care!