I have many vivid memories of my wife taking the time… whatever time that was necessary, to minister love and grace to our kids. When I think about the meaning of grace, I many times will picture my 5’ 2 1/2’’wife who may not be real large in physical stature but was always about 105 lbs of compassion and Godly grace… usually all wrapped up in a friendly smile!
I can picture her like it was yesterday when she would be kneeling down next to one of our children, softly and gently calming their emotions, building them up when they felt less than positive about themselves or with something they may have done. I also recall the many times she would slip her little hand around my upper arm just as I would be heading off to talk with one of our kids, give me that killer-sweet smile and gently remind me to include a liberal involvement of God’s grace in the upcoming conversation.
In this blog I’ve talked about the many lessons that I have learned in life, and especially within the last eleven years as we’ve been involved in the fight for my Piper’s health… but I think the greatest lesson has been centered on my increasingly personal knowledge of God’s love and grace. I can’t help but go back to Paul’s words in Ephesians 3:19 where he talks about the importance of each of us having an intimate, experiential “knowing” of God’s love which takes us far beyond the limits of our own understanding and thereby enables us to be filled with more and more of God. (personally paraphrased from Ephesians 3:19 – God’s Word ©) With that word “knowing” likened in the original Greek to the intimacy that is shared between a husband and wife.
I’ve had some pretty tough experiences when we returned home to California after attending Bible College where I got a very personal look into what it is like to be the target of words and actions that are far from God’s grace. I would have to say that I had NEVER gone through anything like that before… or since that experience.
Through it all I came into a clear understanding of what the Lord told Paul when he asked Him to help him through the persecutions he seemed to be facing every time he turned around! Paul related the incident writing, “And He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore I will rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may overshadow me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9 MKJV)
At one of the lowest points in my life, I turned to Papa God and He began to continually and relentlessly pour out His love and grace on Piper and me. I can honestly say that while I have always had an intensely close relationship with my wife, I never even knew that I could have a similar relationship with God… until I had no one to turn to for comfort, encouragement and strength… but Him!
I discovered during a teaching on God’s will for healing that we were listening to yesterday afternoon, that the word “POWER” in this verse comes from the Greek word “dunamis” which specifically speaks of “miraculous power and implies a miracle itself” (Strong’s) Do you get the impact of that statement? God was telling Paul in Bible times and to us today, that when we are weak, He is strong and when we put our trust in Him, we have EVERY RIGHT to EXPECT A MIRACLE!
When it may seem like everything and everyone around you is against and our abandoning you because of wrongs that they may think you’ve done, His grace shines like the bright morning star in the midnight skies… and believe me… that is exactly what His grace has felt like to me over these last few years! He doesn’t criticize, complain or pass along false stories about you. Like Piper, He kneels down beside you, takes your hand in His and simply loves on you!
YES… His GRACE is sufficient for you and me!
Have a great rest of the week, and as you do, keep asking yourself… “How much am I expecting His GRACE for me today!”