1.24.2011

In "Other" Words...God's Grace for *Every* Day!





”Your worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God’s grace. 
And your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God’s grace.” 
~Jerry Bridges


In the time I've been a hostess for In "Other" Words, I've been continually amazed at the way things can change between the time I select the quote and submit it and the time I actually sit down to compose a post weeks or months later.  Such is the case again this time...and with only a few weeks in between!  


As I've mentioned before, 2010 was a "good" year for us...it certainly wasn't perfect, and definitely had its {not-so-great} moments....but compared to the six previous years...it was a year of peace and rest for us.  When I selected this quote in early January (or somewhere thereabouts...:)), I was on a roll of "good days" and even "best days".  God had blessed us immensely in so many ways through the holidays and the turmoil of the last half-decade plus seemed to be fading into a somewhat-hazy memory.   


I was even *almost* over that "waiting for the other shoe to drop" feeling that had been fallowing me  around since 2006.   Occasionally it would tap me on the shoulder, wave from across the room, or wake me up in the night...but very, very rarely anymore.  


And yet God had taught me much during the relative "peace" of 2010.   Lessons quite different than the ones learned in the midst of trauma and pain, but lessons, nonetheless.   One of the biggest was summed up in the second line of this week's quote..."...your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God's grace."  


We'd been through six years of some of  the most intense storms life has to offer.  In those years, there was no doubt whatsoever of our need for God's grace.   We clung to it as a drowning man clings to a life preserver.  And in His amazing faithfulness, He taught us clearly the truth that "Your worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God's grace."  Even in the days that I wrestled...the days that I doubted God's goodness for the first time in my almost-40 years, and the days that the concept of God's sovereignty just made me downright mad...even on those days, His grace gently reached down and pulled me close to His heart, as a Shepherd carrying His baby lamb. (Isa. 40:11)


More recently, though, as we've enjoyed a bit of calm in the midst of the storm...knowing that our storms are far from over, but enjoying the peaceful periods while they last...we've been reminded over and over again that we don't just need His grace on the  "bad days".  We don't just need His grace in the midst of the storm...in fact, sometimes we need it *more* on the good days.  


On the good days, we sometimes forget that we need that life preserver  we've been clinging to so fiercely through the stormy times.   It's easy to float along, enjoying the sun on our face, forgetting that we can't swim on our own.   The good days are the days we need His grace to remind us that we can do nothing in our own strength, that we are to die to self daily, that we must fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.  


The "good days" that  we were enjoying when I selected this quote were swallowed up by my  sudden severe pain flare and out-of-the blue renewed trauma issues in our children  soon after the first of the year.   We went from enjoying bountifully good days to facing deep, dark bad days in what seemed like nothing flat.   And yet God's amazing grace didn't change.  He has sustained and comforted and blessed us even through the hard days, and as we seem to be moving back now into a possible period of peace, He is giving wisdom and strength and perseverance to catch up and continue with the tasks to which He has called us.


I am so thankful for God's grace for *every* day...and for the truth that at our very worst...in our sin, our pain, our grief...we are never beyond the reach of His grace, and at our very best...when we are on the mountaintop, delighting in His blessings and goodness and worshiping Him for All that He is...we are never beyond the need of it.  


It is truly amazing...EVERY day....


Join us today for In "Other" Words.  Share your thoughts on the quote, link up here (with the direct link to today's post, please, not the main page of your blog...), and then visit others to read their thoughts as well.   I look forward to reading your take on today's quote!





10 comments:

Marsha Young said...

Jennifer, Thank you for such an honest post. I had never thought of it quite that way, but yes, looking back on it, there were times when I, too, was "mad at God's sovereignty."

But what I have learned is that God's grace is greater than my anger, or my grief, or my disappointment with what He has allowed.

He truly is Lord of All - even during the times when we are asking "Lord of what??"
God bless you - Marsha

twinklemom said...

This is really great timing for the quote; As soon as I saw what this week's quote was, I started chuckling...on top of having a very very very bad week, I woke up this past weekend, very ill and it was just one of those...really....on top of rain.....a storm? Lol....what a great and much needed reminder!

D.J. Hughes said...

I can so relate to your experience of several "bad" years and then a season of several "good" years where you keep waiting for the other "shoe to drop."

Great post. And great take of this quote. Thanks for choosing this one.

God Bless.

DJ

Tami Boesiger said...

How do we forget God is always God? I am continually amazed at how He gets us through rough times even when we're not aware. Somehow we always get to the other side of trials. It has to be His grace, right?

Thanks for hosting today Jennifer.

mamas*little*treasures said...

What a blessing this quote has been today! Thank you so much for the reminder, and for the thought provoking topic. I trust that all is well with your family now, but I do know that He will carry you through! Blessings, Nina @ mamas*little*treasures

Karen said...

"God's amazing grace didn't change." Very good statement Jennifer. It's a shocker sometimes how the times can change in a heartbeat from good to bad or vise versa but God's amazing grace doesn't. I love it! Thanks for hosting today.

Miriam Pauline said...

I am consistently amazed that God is not surprised by either the good or the bad that happens. His grace may look different in each circumstance but it is always sufficient. Thanks for a great quote to remind us we need his grace in all situations. Praying you experience more times of peace soon.

Amanda said...

Thank you for sharing these thoughts! It truly is amazing what an awesome God we serve! A great way to start the day! (P.S. Read this on a Ruby for Women blogpost)
Blessings!

Jenn G said...

beautiful post, jen. thanks for the blessing!

Bonnie W said...

Jennifer,
I can relate to the difficult period followed by a peaceful one and then wham - the troubles hit again.

Thanks for the honest post and the timely reminder that God is always with us no matter what the circumstances.

Great post.
Bonnie