Friday Forum: Grace is…?

Posted: October 19, 2012 in Friday Forum, Uncategorized
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This has been a very strange week…one of those “calm before the storm” moments. There is much change in the near future, on so many levels: a nation faces a hotly contested Presidential election, which promises no real resolution regardless of who wins, and often brings out the worst in well-meaning but misguided people; as an employee, I’m working hard to transition my career track in a new direction, creating a job description which currently does not exist (but I think I can demonstrate it should, and that I should do it); my  church faces a pastoral election, no less hotly contested, which absolutely determines the future of the only body of believers I have ever belonged to; which forces me, as a man responding to a very clear calling into vocational ministry (which I imagine is still further down the line, after some training and mentoring by someone with more experience and I pray, more wisdom), into recognizing my doubts and fears for what they are – prideful lies I tell myself, so I don’t have to trust God when things take unexpected turns. I am a sinful man, who forgets sometimes how good and perfect the grace of God is, and tries so hard to mold myself into what I think God wants me to be, instead of allowing Him to mold me into the shape of His pleasure; and I am a husband and best friend, watching my partner struggle through the days of her disease, knowing that God also works in doctors and drugs, but sometimes wishing He had chosen a different way, because this way hurts just to watch – I cannot imagine what she feels, she humbles me by how she responds to it. Her faith, her continued concern for and ministry to others, her joy in life in spite of cancer and cancer treatment (which is almost worse than the illness)…these things also remind me that grace is in effect in the lives of all believers. I believe that as Christians we all need those reminders now and again, and that is why God allows stuff to happen…to deepen our  faith in Him. Other people teach a different interpretation – that grace is what keeps God’s people happy healthy and wealthy, and if you aren’t, you need to be working on your faith and confessing your sin, and maybe not in that order!

This brings me to the topic for this week: What does grace mean to you, in your day-to-day life? I am being vague on purpose, because I don’t want to limit the discussion, so feel free to share an example from your life, or a favorite teaching, or whatever. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

Following hard (so hard it hurts sometimes) after Him,

Nick

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