I was definitely a target this past week, because hell came against me in all its fury. Somehow I survived this week of being hit with one fiery dart after another after another. It was non-stop, and it was draining.
And now I stop. Because did I really just say “somehow”? It’s not somehow. It’s never somehow. It’s never an unknown, nameless force.
It was grace. It is always grace.
God’s amazing grace.
God’s uplifting grace.
God’s encouraging grace.
God’s grace. It kept fists at my side when I was assaulted by a mistimed encounter with a disgruntled sibling. Way too early in the morning. Before I was ready for work, had breakfast, or was even fully dressed. When the conversation was predicated with a repeated “I just have one quick question” – that was neither quick nor singular.
God’s grace. It kept frustration at bay – and hopefully out of my voice – when a customer ripped into me about her dissatisfaction and demanded money back. Without providing any information on who she was and what exactly happened. She insisted on talking and expressing herself in demands without giving me much opportunity to speak.
God’s grace. It kept insanity from bubbling over. It said “get up” when several crazy things happened at one and I was completely overwhelmed. When the screams inside my head threatened to expel from my lips and I felt my last good nerve snap because there were too many things at one time coming at me.
God’s grace. It kept tongue in check when no one paid attention and then no one took responsibility for a call that should not have happened. When the finger pointed in every other direction than toward self and it was always someone else’s fault.
God’s grace. It stayed back exhaustion each night until I could get home safely and collapse into bed.
Because I know without a doubt that I would have imploded or just stayed in bed without the hope and uplift of God’s grace. Because grace reminds me that God is wise beyond my own human understanding. That God will help me find balance in the middle of my chaotic emotions and crazy reality. That God loves me through all the messes, the meanies, and the wrong messages. God’s grace. So beautifully explained in Isaiah 43.
God’s grace. Which reminds me of His love unconditional and true. “… I have called you by your name; You are Mine …” (1d-e).
God’s grace. Which reminds me that He is always with me and will keep me safe within His purposes. “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you.” (2).
God’s grace. Which reminds me that I have a loving Savior who purposely chose me and has a great plan to redeem me. “Fear not, for I have redeemed you … For I am the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior” (1c, 3a-b).
God’s grace. Which reminds me I am completely precious to God. “Since you were precious in My sight, You have been honored, And I have loved you” (4a-c).
God’s grace. Which reminds me that fear and frustration only invite darkness in and keep me from hope and peace that want to envelope me. “Fear not, for I am with you” (5a).
God’s grace. Which reminds me that I am uniquely and wonderfully made by His loving hands for His glorious purposes. “Everyone who is called by My name, Whom I have created for My glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him” (7).
God’s grace. Which reminds me the impossible is never out of reach when I trust in the God of the impossible. “Thus says the Lord, who makes a way in the sea And a path through the mighty waters … I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert.” (16, 19d-e).
God’s grace. Which reminds me that there is always a new opportunity, a new possibility, and a new chance. “Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it?” (19a-c)
It’s always grace.
When you think there isn’t another step you can take, grace nudges you forward.
When you think there is a word you have to say, grace encourages silence.
When you think your strength is gone, grace infuses you with a little more.
When you think there is no way out, grace shines a ray of hope through the darkness.
When you think God has forgotten you, grace whispers “never!”
When you think God’s love has run out, grace whispers “impossible!”
When you think God isn’t working for you, grace whispers “watch!”
So this past week reminded me the importance of leaning into grace. It will get you through.
Marie Fremin. 4/29-4/30/17