Thursday, April 8, 2010

By His Grace

When I was at Beth's house for Easter, she asked me something that caught me off guard. Actually, she asked me two things that caught me off guard, but one question I've been thinking about more than the other. And the other will have to wait for another time & another post.

Catching me off guard is difficult to do. Every once in a while it happens though. It was innocent enough. Sitting on her couch talking about life. She was right - I've been through so much, more than most can imagine, more than she will ever truly know.

Her question? Simple. How can I have gone through so much & be like I am. The answer itself is just as simple. "By the grace of God go I." Without a pause, without nearly a second thought, those simple words said so much.

The truth is I've asked that same question myself, many, many times. I'm not an alcoholic. I'm not on drugs. I'm not in a mental institution. I'm not laying in a bed somewhere curled up in a fetal position mindlessly rocking back & forth. I'm not dead, by neither my hand nor someone else's. Though given what I've been through, any one of those options would be understandable.

God's grace, His mercy & His love for me is the only answer that makes sense - not that it has to make sense at all. I was watching this show recently that airs on the USA Network called In Plain Sight. I would like to share a quote from a recent episode.

"We forget sometimes how much the world can hurt. It can hurt people we love. People we don't. People caught in the middle. Even people who'd give anything if they would never, ever, get hurt again, but sometimes the hurt can't be avoided.

It's just coming at us & can't be stopped. It's in us and can't be seen. Or its lying next to us in the dark... waiting, but sometimes it doesn't come at all.

Sometimes we get this other thing that just flutters down out of nowhere that stays just long enough to give us hope. Sometimes, rarely, barely, but just when we need it the most & expect it the least, we get a break."
To me, that's what God's grace is... something that flutters down when I least expect it. God's mercy, on the other hand, gives me the much needed breaks in life, time & time again. I've been lucky enough that He has chosen to show me both His grace & His mercy countless of times, probably more often than I am even aware.

I am broken. Damaged. I don't deny it. I would be nothing without Him. Nothing. Without Him, I would, indeed, not be here. At the very least - if not dead - I would not be who I am. Every single event that has happened in my life - both good & bad - has made me who I am.

Not for a single second do I believe that God causes bad things to happen in my life. Or anyone else's for that matter. Although in confession, I have not always believed this. In years passed, I used to believe that if God was in control then He must have wanted {insert bad thing here} to happen. Which lead to destructive behavior & fueled years of anger. What I know now is so vastly different.

Two words: free will. It is our God given right to chose. God will not violate my will. And just as he will not violate my will, He won't violate the will of others either. This means that when bad things have happened to me that are caused by other people's actions, God didn't cause it. He didn't want this for me. He didn't allow it to happen bc I did something wrong & was being punished. It all comes back to free will - everyone's God given right.

I have also learned that God uses everything for His good. That everything in life is a blessing & a lesson - no matter if it is good or bad. I wrote about lessons & blessings what seems like forever ago, in this post last November. In short, bc of the lessons that I have learned & the ways God has blessed me through tragedy, I would not change a thing about my past.

Looking back, it is in these difficult times of struggle that I was not alone. If I had been, who knows what would happen. He was there. He made sure that I have had amazing people to support me. Some may say it bc I am strong. It's not. It is bc of His love for me & the mercy & grace He bestows upon me. So, yes, in deed, by the grace of God go I.
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  1. Well said. People have asked me that question many times.

    That's the only issue that I had with David Ring's book. He occasionally said that God caused him to have CP. I don't agree with that at all. The devil is the one who comes to steal, kill, and destroy. The devil is always looking for ways to attack people, but to often people blame God for these things.

    Just thought you should know that about the book. I mentioned it briefly in my book review post, but I didn't know if you saw that part.

  2. Amen! My God is an awesome God and will never leave me.


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