A few Sundays ago, our family participated in the Baby Dedication of my grandson Noah at church. I stood on the stage flooded with feelings of gratitude, joy, amazement, happiness, and an awareness that by God’s grace our family had overcome some tremendous challenges together. Challenges that we thought would overwhelm us, we had overcome by God’s grace.
Then two days ago, I woke up again overwhelmed by an awareness that God’s grace was all around me. I realized that every one of the definitions of the word grace mentioned on the website dictionary.com (under Theology) were taking place in my life. I jumped out of bed, found my iPad, and turned on an Israel Houghton CD to one of my favorite praise and worship songs “Hosanna (Be Lifted Higher).” As I sat there listening to the words of the song, I started to remember all of the challenges that God had brought me through in 2013 by His grace.
1. the freely given, unmerited favor and love of God.
2. the influence or spirit of God operating in humans to regenerate or strengthen them.
3. a virtue or excellence of divine origin: the Christian graces.
4. Also called state of grace. the condition of being in God’s favor or one of the elect.
All I could say over and over again was: “Thank You, God! Thank You, God! Thank You, God!” Then, something shifted in me. Grace shifted into Peace; a peace that assured me that my current challenges were also going to be overcome by God’s grace.
When I looked down at my iPhone to find out what time it was, I saw Noah’s smiling face on my home screen. He made me smile, but I was running late! I drove my niece to school in my pajamas.
Have you ever experienced an overwhelming awareness of God’s grace?
“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” (Philippians 4:6, 7 MSG)
(The photos above of our family and Noah were taken on an iPhone in February 2013. I photographed the white orchid with my camera on Valentine’s Day 2014.)