Apr
29

By His Grace

By

healingI woke up this morning with a song in my heart and a dance in my feet. I love it when a day begins – and ends – that way. I slept great last night. I finished two grad classes yesterday and am sliding in to finish with just one more class which begins today. My husband fixed my computer, which I am quite sure had been possessed by some evil spirit. The sun is shining; the birds are singing with me on this springtime morning. My diet is working and the scales are going down, down, down. My husband and I are experiencing a new honeymoon of sorts after 32 years. My kids are doing well. I am expecting my first grandchild. I have friends who love me. My church is filled with amazing people. I have an appointment with my hair stylist who will effectively hide all my gray today and make my hair look like the sun kissed it. Someone is looking at my house for the second time in a week and I pray they make an offer so we can downsize.

Does life get any better than this? It is so easy to thank God during the good days, but what can we do when the days are not so good?

I assure you I know what those days are like too. Two years ago, my marriage was in shambles, my kids’ hearts were broken; I was in a storm of the worst kind. I had lost my job. My ministry seemed to be over. I was caught in the middle of a controversy which seemed to be of mammoth proportions.  I lost friends, ended up leaving my church. I spiraled into a deep depression and considered suicide. So you might ask (for those of you who don’t know me personally), “How did you get from that point to where you are today?” And  I do have some suggestions for those of you who are hurting right now, but my simple answer which I give with an humble heart is, “By His grace.”

Oh, I know that these thought don’t give you a formula or even a pattern to get out of your pit, but for me, it is the simple truth. It’s by His grace.

I came to the absolute end of myself. All my defense mechanisms no longer worked. My self-reliance failed because what I had perceived to be my true self found itself empty.  In my brokenness, I could no longer do anything for God or others. Anything that even smelled of a formula for succeeding or knowing God or making life work, lay at my feet alongside my dreams in a million shattered pieces.

Although I am not advocating this, I wound up in a place where I didn’t have the strength to read my Bible or listen to worship music. I felt abandoned by God and many others in my life. All my strength was gone. And God begin to weave the brokenness into something new. Looking back, it was as if He unraveled all the threads of the tapestry of my life and began to make me anew.

The process hurt. I hurt. I wish I could say it didn’t and give you a false sense of “Everything will be alright soon.” But I don’t want to give you an untrue picture of what it means when a life is redeemed. For now, I am not speaking of my salvation in relationship to my redemption. I am speaking of how God redeems one’s life from unhealthy patterns, wrong mindsets, and faulty understandings of who He is.

How do you cooperate with God when you find yourself in such difficult places? I offer some humble thoughts with a quiet caring understanding that many of you are in painful places. I pray they don’t sound like a “fix” or a “formula”, but truths learned during one pilgrim’s journey.

1.       1. Know that God will carry you will you have no strength, and in fact, it is during such times that He can do His greatest work of revealing His heart to you. “In your weakness, He is shown strong.”

2.       2. Rest in the knowledge that He will not abandon you no matter what your feelings or circumstances say. “I will never leave you or forsake you.”

3.       3. Understand that the body of Christ, the family of God, was designed to walk with each other and carry each other’s burdens.

4.       4. Faith is about trusting Him, not yourself, and a mustard seed is quite small.

5.       5. Lean on him, relying more and more on Him, and less and less on yourself.

6.       6. Realize that the One who began His work in you has promised to complete it.

7.       7. Know that God has set a boundary over which the enemy cannot cross. That line may not be where you think it should be, but it is there.

8.       8. He is truly able to make something good out of brokenness.

9.       9. It’s all by His grace. 

May the following Scriptures from Psalms bless and strengthen you.

 By His grace,

Mikki

Blessed are all who put their trust in Him.

I cried to the Lord and He heard me.

I lay down and slept and awoke because the Lord sustained me.

The Lord will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. Those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.

Uphold my steps in Your paths, so my footsteps may not slip.

He sent from above, He took me; He drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, from those who hated me. For they were too strong for me…The Lord was my support. He brought me out into a broad place; He delivered me because He delighted in me.

You enlarged my path under me, so my feet didn’t slip.

The Lord is my shepherd…He restores my soul.

In times of trouble, He will hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle he shall hide me; he shall set me high upon a rock.

Even when my father and my mother forsake me, the Lord will take care of me.

The steps of a good man or woman are ordered by the Lord…though they fall, they shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds them with His hand.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and repentant heart, O God, you will not despise.

I will cry to You when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I am.

God puts the lonely in families.

God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

You, Lord, are good and ready to forgive, abundant in mercy to all those who call on You.

You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, patient and abundant in mercy and truth.

They cried to the Lord in their trouble, and He delivered them out of their distresses.

 

 

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Comments

  1. Ginger says:

    Yes, that song, that dance–whatever it may be for each of us–speaks subtly to my heart, as we celebrate answered prayer.
    Ginger

    I shall share on Twitter and FB.

  2. Ginger says:

    Wait, have you read Love and War?

  3. Song says:

    You deserve it all!!!!

  4. Pat Lenoir says:

    I loved this. The Psalms are my favorite.

    I’ve been sort of a shut-in for several months with a very weird “illness”. Finally found a homopathic (sp?) Doctor who’s in practice with her dad, a reg Dr. & surgeon, in Athens, Tn. An hour away for me. The 9 medical professionals I saw in Knoxville before that thought I was crazy.

    I’ve learned a lot these last 2 years. I have a “vintage’ pamphlet called GOD’S LESSONS FOR SICK FOLKS that has a lot of truth in it., for example. I plan to keep reading all your entries.

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