Grace revisited...


There is grace in every moment. Everything is grace. It is a resounding theme. It speaks to the pain of this life. It is a candle in a darkened room. Grace meets me when I lay my head on my pillow. It meets me as I rise (& through the countless times I hit snooze). It holds my hand when the terrain gets steep & carries me when I can no longer walk. It was placed, free of charge, in my heart when I asked Jesus there. It was not for my glory, but for His. Grace speaks of God’s character. His love mines deep caverns.

Trusting…trusting in His faithfulness. He is faithful, as with Abraham, to erase the blemishes, sin, & dark blackness replacing His seal of RIGHTEOUSNESS upon my heart. Knowing…there is a big difference in knowing about God & knowing God! Believing…believing that He speaks to me & desires me to know His will…to know Him as intimately as He knows me.

I struggle holding tangibly to the Holy Spirit. This breath of God, intercessor, companion, indwelt in me is a mystery. He carves, shapes, hollows as well as fills, restores, transforms.

25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.

26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us[a] with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

Romans 8: 25-27

The definition of groan from the Merriam Webster Dictionary is as follows:

1

:  to utter a deep moan indicative of pain, grief, or annoyance

2

:  to make a harsh sound (as of creaking) under sudden or prolonged strain

 

While a marvelous mystery, I am deeply comforted by the Holy Spirit. I am amazed; face down, before this triune God. Every aspect of Him is unique & works for His glory. The Holy Spirit only prays the will of God for us (Romans 8:27)! He helps us in our weakness (Romans 8:26). How many times have I prayed for the wrong things - lost focus of what is worth fighting for? But, God know this, & in His grace the Holy Spirit groans for us.

I sit back & ponder this. I hold this word on my lips. I close my eyes & think of the definition I read. A groan is not a nice sweet reassuring sound. It is weight-full. There is an overwhelming desperation to a groan. A groan demands attention & often action. It is not an idle sound, but a sound often made under duress.

 I am reminded of Jesus’s prayer in John 17 (as well as Gethsemane).

I have tried & failed. In my power I seek to hold my little world in balance. If I pray hard enough all my “mirages in the desert” will work out as I wish. I hold, tight fisted, to the things…control idol feeding other idols!

What the Lover has been teaching me:

1.       He loves me.

2.      He answers every prayer.

3.      He is gracious. All is grace. I am thank-filled.

4.      He wants me to know Him.

5.      I can trust Him.

 

I had all these gloriously descriptive thoughts flowing through my head during both church services today. I so desperately wanted to hold them & translate them. Alas, most were lost & I feel the inkwell, not dry, but lacking.

Yet, I will write. I will write because it is life to me. I get closer to the root.

I have had un-right feelings. I have been jealous. I have been bitter.

Fear is an overwhelming companion.

So…I pray…& pray…& pray! (And others pray!)

He meets me with love, answers, grace, knowledge, & trust. I breathe in feeling the expansion of my lungs. I hold until the air burns fire. Let go gasping. It is Life that forces out death so that more life may come in – in & out!

I want more in than out. I want to stop in my moment & pray that I am actually in that moment. I want to fall deeply in love with God’s word. I want to lie against His chest & feel His heartbeat.

What of this work? I frantically strive; my nails bloodied from the digging - the working out of this life!

4 What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh?[a] For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”[b] Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt.

But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness,

Romans 4: 1-5 NKJV

And…

4-5 If you’re a hard worker and do a good job, you deserve your pay; we don’t call your wages a gift. But if you see that the job is too big for you, that it’s something only God can do, and you trust him to do it—you could never do it for yourself no matter how hard and long you worked—well, that trusting-him-to-do-it is what gets you set right with God, by God. Sheer gift. – Romans 4:4-5 MSG

It is all sheer gift. Trusting sharpens faith – letting go.

Every time I strive I am not thankful of the gift. My world has so often been colored by seeing grace as payment. Grace was given the moment I believed. I learn to say, “thank you”! The more thanks parts my lips the more I remember.

He loves me. He answers every prayer. He is gracious. He wants me to know Him. I can trust Him.

He who learns must suffer. And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.  -Aeschylus

 

 

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