It's amazing how old, well known verses become fresh and new again. God's word really is living and active and I thank Him for that. Because sometimes our life and the situations we find ourselves in cause us to crave and I'll go so far as to say, demand something new from God. Teach me, show me, open my eyes because I'm not getting it. Why do things hurt so much or why am I so confused?
That's where He shows up, if you wait patiently. I participated in a friend's fund raiser which included the purchase of a quilt square for her son whom she is adopting from China. He's a sweet little guy with Down's Syndrome. We were asked to send a word of encouragement or Bible verse in with our quilt square, to be included with his quilt. I sat down to write out a verse and could not think of the right one. I then thought of my favorite verse and realized it would be perfect.
2 Corinthians 12:9 says, "But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me."
What a perfect verse for a little orphan who will come to his new family in America. He has started off unwanted and weak by the world's standards and by God's grace, he will find strength and power in a new place. And I thought the verse would encourage his family who has adopted many children but never one with Malachi's special needs. Except as I read the verse again before I tucked it into the envelope, I saw it in a completely new way. For the first time, I read the words, "MY GRACE" and those words hit me like a ton of bricks. My recent struggles of spiritual unrest and lack of peace have come from seeking grace from everyone else BUT God!!!
How is it that my favorite verse was new all over again? My daughter gave me some art she made with this verse. I even have it referenced on my license plate! I will repeat this verse over and over when I need to meditate on something good. In the past, I only ever focused on the words "weakness" and "strength". I have freely admitted my own weakness and need for the power that Christ offers...but lately, I have been seeking grace elsewhere which results in heartache, confusion, depression and spiritual darkness. No one but Christ has the ability to provide perfect unconditional love. Grace is God's unmerited favor - no need to prove ourselves, it's love and acceptance with no strings attached.
Life is going to hand us heartache. Friends can and will hurt us or even "unfriend" us. Kids turn on parents and parents let kids down. Even the spouse who loves us so madly will make us so mad. When we put all of our hopes, confidence and security in these imperfect, broken people we are bound to be sunk by them. So when I saw those words, "MY GRACE" - my unrest lifted. I took a deep breath and realized the love, approval and security I was searching for had been there all along and that I had been sinfully seeking it elsewhere which is really a form of idolatry...an entirely separate topic for another post!
It's pretty funny. I have not posted for a few weeks. Not for any particular reason. I have a tickler file full of ideas and topics on which to write. For those who know me well, I never have trouble finding words. But I felt dry. I felt distant from God and didn't feel like I was worthy of encouraging others to find Him. I am thankful for Malachi's quilt square and even the fact that I turned it in late. Filling out the little card for him was timely - it was God's timing. It's amazing how that little guy's life is changing lives here already and he hasn't even step foot on US soil. Allow your life to be changed. Where are you seeking grace?