A friend reminded me about God's grace today. I looked up the word "grace" and found many definitions given for different circumstances. But the one I liked the most said this, " an unmerited gift or favor granted by God". I just love that!!! "Unmerited gift" - undeserved gift.....undeserved favor given by God.
All day today, this song has been with me:
Many times I'm tried and tested
As I travel day by day
"Oft I meet with pain and sorrow
And there's trouble in the way.
But I have a sweet assurance
That my soul, the Lord will lead
And in Him there is strength for every need.
Oh, His grace is sufficient for me
And His love is abundant and free
Oh what joy fills my soul
Just to know, Just to know
That His GRACE is sufficient for me.
How humbling it is to know that I am so undeserving of God's "unmerited gifts and favor"...yet, He constantly blesses me with them!!!
For Mother's Day this year, Denise gifted me with a book, "one thousand gifts" by Ann Voskamp. Ann shares how to live a life of gratitude with what you have. Amazingly, I am finding that I have alot more than I thought I did. She is helping me to see that it is the opening of the eyes and heart that allows you to receive the blessings that are already in your life. I have found Ann to be totally blessed, not only in her ability to write so wonderfully, but for her grasp on what it takes to "live a life fully and joyfully".
A few services ago, I got up at church and expressed my appreciation to God for my trials. Trials are given to help us grow...if we let them....and to me, trials show me that God is still interested in me. Lately, I have had to do alot of soul-searching. I must admit that I was in an emotional hell.....so grieved in my heart over circumstances in my life....so tired and weary of me trying to do things my way instead of making room for God to be the one in control...struggling to let God have HIS wonderful way in my life.
On May 4th, I turned 60 years old!!! So very hard to believe...but there it is...*snicker*. Leading up to this momentous occasion, I was deeply troubled within. So many thoughts going through my mind....why had I wasted so many years obsessing over the same situations, year after year after year? As Dr. Phil loves to say, "how has that worked for you?" Well, it has not worked at all...not even a little bit!!!
God was also asking me alot of questions...and showing me things I did not want to see about myself in regards to my relationship with Him. He so forcefully was asking me to make decisions....and I was fighting, still fighting. Trust is not one of my strong points. I basically only trust myself...with myself. But I knew this made the Lord sad...for He wants His children to trust Him for their needs...for the comfort that we need when sorrows are so great...for the healing of our minds, body and soul. Could I finally make the decision to "let go and let God..."? Ohhhhh, the decision was so hard!!! After all, I had had 60 years to form the bad habit of self-reliance....and now, at this age, I was being asked to make the decision...or lose my place with Him.
What kept coming so strongly to my mind was a sermon I had seen and heard many years ago. The pastor was walking around carrying a chair...and he was talking about how he did not want to "give up his chair"...he did not want the Lord to give "his chair" to anyone else. That has always stuck with me!!! I do not want the Lord to give my chair to anyone else...it is MY chair...and I want to keep it!!!
After 3 miserable months of such inner personal and spiritual turmoil, I finally said "Yes Lord, YES!!!" I will make the decision to let all of the garbage that has been pushing me down all these years, go!!! YES!!!
It was amazing how quickly I felt such freedom!!! Oh my dear Lord!!! Is that all it took...to just say YES?? I went a bit further and I told the Lord that I was taking all of my life's hurts...all the things that had grieved and burdened me since I was a child...and I was placing wings on them and sending them to Him...because He knew how to handle them better than I did!!! What a release that was...for in my mind, and even with my arms, I lifted them up to Him and let them go. And there, I intend to leave them. I realize I will have to watch carefully so they do not float back down to me....but I really think I can do it!!!! Because He is going to help me.
Trials....they are so troublesome...at times, so hurtful... but they are also so freeing if we leave ourselves open to "see" and "hear" with our eyes and hearts what the Lord wants for us. I believe this with all of my heart...because I BELIEVE with all my heart that God loves ME....undeserving ME!!!.......and I love Him.