GRACE IN ABUNDANCE
Thank you for coming alone on our family’s journey through the As For Me and My House Series and the Hear My Prayer, O, Lord Post.
Sleep eluded her and she lay awake with her thoughts consuming her. Overwhelmed by the mistakes she had made; she felt like a failure as a wife and a mother. More times than not she doubted herself as a woman of God. In the quiet of the night, when there was no distraction, it was the worse. As she weighed the good and bad, the bad painfully outweighed the good. Tears fell heavy; she left her bedroom and sat in the stillness of her living room. She cried out to God in the depths of her soul. I so badly need help! Lord, my past mistake, failures, faults and shortcomings are so great I cannot live this way. In the stillness of the night, the tears fell freely and uncontrollably.
As the little boy played on the floor next to his grandmother he looked up and saw the movement of threaded needle through fabric and was confused at the image grandma was trying to stitch, it looked like such a mess. His grandma reassured him she knew what she was doing and continued stitching. This continued for several days and at last she finished. As she put him on her lap, he was stunned by the beautiful scenery on the fabric; trees, a house and flowers everywhere. She turned the finished work around and said, you see sweetheart, our lives are like that. We on earth look at things and think we are a mess; things seem to be going this way or that way and we are confused, feel lost and question what’s going on. We will one day sit on God’s lap and He will show us the big picture and everything will fall into place and become clear.
Can you imagine befriending someone who had five husbands and was living with a sixth? You vigorously shake your head no, not my type of friend. Yet Christ met the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well in the heat of day and knowing her past shared what Grace looked like.
How would you react if I told you I had a powerful story to share of a Godly woman I know? Then I pause to share that she was once a harlot and was caught in the act of adultery yet had the honor of meeting eye to eye with Jesus and her life was transformed?
Or if I told you the spies sent to Jericho by the Israelites went to a brothel house and there they found refuge with a woman who was of that lifestyle? And that she would be in the lineage of Jesus, the One who would bring deliverance to all of mankind?
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Sometimes things seem so hopeless! A marriage falling apart. A beloved son or daughter leaving the home and like the prodigal wonders astray. An ailing loved one and we are hopeless to fight the disease. A close friend betrayed us and it hurts so bad you feel you may burst with pain. Being a God-fearing wife is harder than you thought possible or raising children is soo exhausting. And the list goes on!.
How many times have you looked at your life and felt like things just weren’t right? Like that mom there has it together and if only you could do things like her, you would be alright. Or have you looked at the relationship that friend has with her husband and thought if only I could be like her, I would be happy. Or have you looked at that family’s children and thought if we could have raised our kids that way, I would feel proud? And in the midst of those thoughts you felt no better about your situation for the most part felt worse?
You see my dear friends, we are all so unique and beautiful in our own way. Each of us has a story God is piecing and stitching together for His glory if we let him. Yes, things at times may seem out of control. At times we may feel like a failure and at times we really may question whether God hears us. Dear friend, He has never left your situation, your story is one God saw before you were conceived and formed in your mother’s womb. It is one Jesus saw and took to the cross and shed His blood for. When people looked at the Samaritan woman they may have laughed, judged, pointed fingers at her and I bet she was a hot topic at many dinners. When Jesus met her he didn’t judge her by her past, He saw her future. The story of the woman caught in adultery is one of my favorite Bible stories. It’s so beautiful. I can rarely read it without getting choked up. I envision what she may have looked like as they threw her on the ground. She had made mistakes in her life and knew she would be stoned to death for her actions. I can just imagine the last thoughts that were going through her mind for she clearly knew by the laws of Moses, she was to be stoned. Then I see Jesus, a Holy and sinless man. He doesn’t look at her outward appearance. He doesn’t judge her for the disgraceful act they were accusing her of. He actually stands up for her and says you without sin, cast the first stone. Gives me goosebumps every time. I can just imagine the tears she shed as every accuser fled and she was left one on one with Jesus. I imagine how confused she must have been. Then as the voice of Jesus tells her go and sin no more, I see her clutching on to the little clothes she had on and accepting His forgiveness and hope for a new life. It makes me sick because if I am honest, I too at times find myself holding that stone ready to throw it at my brother or sister in Christ who has stumbled.
If you feel ashamed of your past or feel you have messed up greatly and feel there is no hope. I know someone who isn’t frightened by your troubling past. He doesn’t mind where you were or what kind of luggage you will leaving at the Cross. These mistakes were paid for on Calvary. He wants to give you a new life and find hope in Him and through His blood. He wants to offer you the good news of Grace. Grace in abundance to cleanse those mistakes you have made as a mother, those errors as a wife and most importantly the failures as a woman and child of God. His name is Jesus. That Jesus that met the Samaritan woman, and the woman caught in adultery and the woman that owned a brothel. He met them where they were and offered them Grace, unmerited and undeserved mercy.
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Then there are those of us who for the most part have it together, I would like to challenge us. The next time you hear a family is having marital problems, or the son has left the home, or the husband beat the wife, or the wife left the family. Let’s show grace like Jesus did in these situations. Many times hearing these stories we take it upon ourselves the role of “righteous judge” that was never given to us. Instead of talking it over with our girlfriends and family, let’s lift them up in prayer. Instead of “coming to conclusions” why this happened do what Christ would have done and show Grace. Give her a hug and tell her she is in your prayers. Send her an anonymous box of chocolates with some inspirational verses of encouragement. Fast and pray for them. When you see her don’t make her feel like an outcast, she already does; show her love. Smile at her, make it a point to come up to her. If you see a young girl at church that is struggling and you hear her ways are a little shady come up to her. Compliment her on the way she dressed or did her hair. Have her feel noticed and loved, something she may not have felt in a long time. And the list goes on.
So many times as I look back at my life and remember when I played that righteous judge in my heart I later come to find out the real situation and shutter with disgust. She was in an abusive situation, or he was struggling with pornography, or the young girl what dealing with her parents’ marriage falling apart, or the parents were given the news their child had cancer and without knowing the full situation I was that “righteous judge”.
May we all desire, like Jesus, to show and offer Grace in Abundance. For when it is hardest to love, those need to be loved the most.
This has been something on my heart for the longest time because I have been in situation I could have really used grace from others and other times I should have offered grace.
I have been working on another post but really felt this one needed published first, not sure for who. I pray and pray again that it was a blessing to someone, someone that needed to hear about the power of Grace.
As always these personal posts really are dear to me and I really treasure your comments and e-mails. If you need to get in contact with me via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org 🙂
And my favorite song now.. So powerful, I have no words. In case you need to shed a tear..