Grace & Hope
It may be odd to come back from a fantastic three week trip to Holland, France, and Italy and not have it be the first thing one blogs about, but I’m going to buck that (possible) trend all the same. It’s mainly due, I think, to the trip sparking something inside of me; a something I cannot fully put my finger on quite yet. I can’t even say with 100% certainty it was trip alone that was the igniting incident. Maybe it simply added fuel to a flame already beginning to grow? Any which way I slice it, however, something is shifting. And with it is a knowing peace about it all. There is a good foundation being built upon and, remaining diligent on my end, what is being constructed/reconstructed will last.
The main gist of things at present involves these two things:
Grace: I’ve long grappled with grace to some degree or another. We probably all have, I bet, as it’s pondered whether or not the grace of God is too good to be true. Surely the rug will be pulled out from under us at some point, right? So to be on the “safe side”, we make all kinds of rules and regulations while passing all kinds of judgments near and far so that should we be given a surprise audit by God, we’ll be ready with all our boxes ticked and names signed on the dotted lines. But it is an exhausting routine to maintain. And it’s one we have foisted upon ourselves.
Now that’s not to say there aren’t things we need to be working on and doing. The Bible talks about virtues to be built upon and spiritual fruit to be produced and things to ponder. But it’s not so we can pass some sort of entrance exam or earn some kind of bonus. It’s to be due to the power of Christ in us, by the power of His grace working in us and even through us.
Hope: For 2015 I chose for my One Word 365 the word hope. And I’m still finding myself in the middle of the process, of “rejoicing in hope” even as troubles pop up, as prayers are whispered a word at a time … sometimes only one word for a time.
Hope is a good thing to hold on to, and I’m trying to reach for it more than I do regrets over mistakes and poor decisions and missed/squandered opportunities. Again and again I remind myself God knows my end from my beginning – there is still a plan, still a path to get to the best ending point (the ending point He has planned for me). Nothing about where I am right now at this moment is causing God to panic or despair. So why do I?
Soooo yeah. Things are shifting. And it’s a good thing.