Saturday, January 14, 2012

Startling Grace [Part One]

I've been counting gifts this month.  It's amazing how much your perspective can change when you actively look for things to be thankful for!  One Thousand Gifts is next on my reading list (although I couldn't find it at Target or Barnes and Noble today).
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Today's Joy Dare is to list three ways I see the startling grace of God.

Startling.

Over the course of the past few months, I have seen so many prayers answered!  I've spent much more time talking with my God and taking my requests and worries to His throne in faith.  Two of my biggest answered prayers recently have come in the lives of friends.

A few short months ago, I was feeling deep fear that I had lost a dear, lifelong friend.  We were heading in two very different directions, and she had chosen to push me away for various reasons.  I found myself on my knees begging God to restore our relationship and remove Satan's hold on her.

But things didn't get any better.


I was devastated.


Eventually, I started to ask God if He was calling me to something else.  Maybe He was asking me to give her up?  I couldn't get a clear answer...other than wait.  And wait is what I did.  No matter how strongly I felt that things were over, God never, ever told me to bow out.  He just told me to wait while He worked.

So I waited.
For a really long time.
And I grew weary of waiting.


My heart felt sick over this whole situation, and I, in my limited human vision, saw no end to the pain.

But...


Praise my precious Savior, He continued to work while I grieved!  There was nothing I could do to fix the situation, and I think that was a lesson He wanted me to learn.  I needed to step back, realize that He is the one in control, and let Him do His thing.  (Yeah, it's a tug-of-war all the time... I'm usually trying to take control when I should just be letting go.)

I remember the night I got her email.  My mouth literally dropped open in shock!  (And I did some joy jumping in my kitchen at 4:30 in the morning!)

She'd come back.
God had answered my prayer!
He'd fixed it all.


Even now as I think of it, I fight tears.  I know that God had the perfect plan all along, and so many people were changed in so many ways just by walking through this journey in her life.

By this time, I'd already convinced myself that it was over and God's answer to me was to let her go.  But have you ever found God to show up when we've forgotten that He works miracles?  When we've become so blinded by what's going on right in front of us that we lose sight of His amazing, wonderful power?

My faith was strengthened that night.


And if that was His intention, then it was all worth it.

The grace of our Lord startles me and leaves me gazing upon His face with awe.

What are you praying for today?  Have you felt like giving up?  Share your story with me!

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