Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Giver of Grace

My friend, Karla, reminded me of something that I hold dear in my walk with the Lord, having seen its truth time again, and now experiencing the power of "God's grace given" last night.

In the book The Hiding Place, Corrie ten boom, writes of an interaction with her father when she was a little girl, as she feared the future, overwhelmed with what she would do when her father would die. She writes,

At last we heard Father's footsteps winding up the stairs. It was the best moment of every day, when he came up to tuck us in. We never fell asleep until he arranged the blankets in his special way and laid his hand for a moment on each head. Then we tried not to move even a toe.

But that night as he stepped through the door I burst into tears. "I need you!" I sobbed. "You can't die! You can't!"

Father sat down on the edge of the narrow bed. "Corrie,"he began gently, "when you and I go to Amsterdam - when do I give you the ticket?'"

I sniffed a few times, considering this.

"Why, just before we get on the train."

"Exactly. And our wise Father in heaven knows when we're going to need things, too. Don't run ahead of Him, Corrie. When the times comes that some us will have to die, you will look into your heart and find the strength you need -- just in time."

Sometimes, when dreams or desires or people or marriages or friendships "die" we can't imagine how we are going to survive without this thing that we hold so dear to us. We cry out, "But I need you!"

But God is a gentle Father. He gives us just what we need when we need it, in all circumstances. As I grieved the loss of something dear to me, last night, I was reminded of how the Lord's gentleness and grace is right there to comfort me. As I sobbed, I was comforted by His loving embrace. I can not understand it. I could not predict what He would do, or how He would do it for me, as I was asked to give up something that I did not want to give up.

He was present with me, in my pain and in my tears, holding me up and unfailingly loving me. Then He was present in my friends, as they came to my home and cried and laughed, ate snacks with me, and encouraged me in the life that God has for me. It was a beautiful thing. God created beauty and joy, even out of my despair.

"My grace is sufficient for you ..." (2 Corinthians 12:9) says the Lord. And He gives it just when we need it, in just the right way. This is truth, as it lies in who God is, the Giver of Grace.

(If you have not read The Hiding Place, I would highly recommend it. It is a true story about a Dutch woman, who with her family, protected the lives of Jewish people during the holocaust of World War II. She was imprisoned in a concentration camp, as a result of what she chose to do forthe Lord, and shares her story in this powerful account of how faith triumphs over evil.)

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