Life is made up of many beginnings and endings. For me it feels like there are more beginnings than endings, which may be a good thing in some cases. Each day I have to begin again to surrender the day to God and receive His grace. Grace is one of many things I know will never end until this life is over. I’m beyond grateful for His grace because I could not keep it all together without Him. Today I read this in a devotional and find it truer now in my own life and for those that are dear to me:
Jesus, the good news about you is a lighthouse for those who need direction. A safe place for those who are abused. A hospital for the hurting. A treasure chest for those in need. A key that unlocks prison doors. A story that changes lives. A fountain of life-giving water. A muzzle that silences demons. How can I be ashamed of a message that brings healing, forgiveness, salvation, joy, peace, hope, freedom and life? (“Raindrops from Heaven” by Twila Belk, January 16)
God’s grace brings each one of those things to life for me as I lean in and allow Him to clothe me in it. And the best part is, “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17). God already goes before each new day, long before I wake up in the morning, to prepare the day with all of those things by His great grace. And because He does that, I don’t have to try or even pretend to hold it all together. I give Him control of my day, and He holds it all together. Whew. That means even more on days like today, when my husband is leaving for nine days in Peru to visit the shelter for abused women we operate there called Pat’s Place. God is going to provide for my every need while He is away and the needs of my three children, two of whom have special needs.
Last year I began using essential oils on myself and my family. Right now I wear a diffuser necklace with an oil blend called “Serenity” (by doTerra). I also diffuse the same blend in my kitchen/living room so that the whole family can benefit from its calming qualities. Three of the five of us suffer from anxiety, including me. I also have dealt with depression throughout my entire life, but gratefully I’ve found a very stable place over the last year or so. From September 2014 to September 2016, I was not so stable, as a great many aspects of my life were thrown into upheaval to the point where I was as depressed as I’ve ever been. Psalm 34:18 found me there: “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; He rescues those who are crushed in spirit.”
God’s grace poured over those two years, and He rescued me out of darkest pit of my life. When He spoke to me of His grace over my life, He reminded me of His presence first and foremost and that by His grace I would be clothed with wisdom that is life and sleep that is sweet:
My daughter, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight, preserve sound judgment and discretion; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble. When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the LORD will be at your side and will keep your foot from being snared. (Proverbs 3:21-26)
Fear is easy to come by in times like these. Fear for my husband’s safety while he travels. Fear for our safety while he is away. Fear of sickness, injury or other “sudden disaster” or “ruin” that could overtake us. But the Lord commands me not to fear because He is at my side and maintaining each step along with me. His grace makes my footprints firm and moving forward, even when it feels like I’m falling behind. My feelings are fleeting, but His grace is steady and sure, enabling me to “go on my way in safety.” What a relief to know I am “clothed in grace.”