It’s nice to feel situated. It is a relief to know things are settled – an old bill, the future (at least in theory), and our hearts.
When I am unsettled and stressed about something, I can get anxious.
- How will this play out?
- Have I covered all the bases?
- What have I forgotten?
- What if all my efforts are in vain?
- Am I doing enough?
- Am I enough?
Have you ever had your mind entertain those types of questions? It can be in human relationships or jobs or even in my relationship with God. Sometimes things “feel” unsettled even though God assures me that they are.
It is important for me to know and remember that God, through Jesus, worked out my salvation. The “bill” there is settled.
“‘the stone you builders rejected,
which has become the cornerstone.’
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” [Acts 4:11-12 NIV]
Check out Psalm 118.
On the way,
If you have been out on your own and paying bills for a while you probably know about grace periods and even needed them a time or two. Buy have you thought of a grace period as a time someone needs as they adjust to a new reality?
It takes time to get reoriented after unexpected news.
Receiving either good news or bad news can turn your world upside down. Sometimes a little time and space can help you get readjusted to a new reality.
Have you ever tried to carefully plan something like your life? Personally, I gave up doing that a long time ago. Things change so quickly that I have found I just need to roll with it. I have had a few goals and plans along the way but there have been a few times something equivalent to a tidal wave has rushed over me and I found myself in a place where I need some recovery time; a grace period.
A grace period is a space where I can cocoon, process, pray, scream, and work it out – whatever it is. And then, hopefully, I can move forward with God leading the way into my new reality. It is never an easy process – often it is two steps forward and one step back. Somewhere along the line I realized: this is not my life — I just live it!
When I walk through those crazy moments I come out with a stronger understanding of God’s grace for my every day. And because I have been in desperate need of grace so often myself, I should be more grace-full towards others.
Sometimes we just need grace.
It isn’t hard to muster up compassion for those who have walked a similar path or those who have extenuating circumstances, but there are some times I get impatient with others as they are processing and then I wonder:
- Who am I to criticize how someone else is dealing with something?
- Who am I to rush someone through the stages of grief?
- Who am I to make assumptions on motives?
- Who am I to be impatient?
I just need to give some grace, time, and space while they work it out. We are all a work in progress and some of life’s situations are so hard. We don’t have control over many thing that happen but we can control our response. I am praying that grace becomes my first response!
On the Road,
In the book of Acts, Barnabas mentors Paul. Later, Paul mentors Timothy. There is always someone ahead of you on the road in life and there is always someone coming up behind you on the path.
Are you willing to share what you’ve learned?
If you know of a great spot to stop or an important place to avoid, you probably share that information with someone who is looking for recommendations. In life, there are many opportunities to give someone a “heads up” as they are on their way. Sometimes it’s encouragement and other times it is a word of caution. Maybe all you can do is listen and pray for them.
Are you willing to learn from others?
Likewise, there are times you are in a place where you can look to others who have been on a similar road. Maybe you are dealing with a wayward child, an aging parent, or a difficult crossroad in life – do you seek wise counsel? It may be that all they can do is listen and pray for you. But being heard and prayed for might be just what you need to provide encouragement for your journey.
At any point in life we can encourage, caution, and take heed. There is always someone who has been where we are going. And there is always someone who is headed to the place we just came through.
God loves when we care enough for His people to share His love and grace and promises with them. We might only be “a step ahead” but sometimes our presence is all the encouragement someone needs!
Heavenly Father ~ help me to listen to those ahead and be willing to share Your good words with those who are coming up from behind! Amen.
On the Road! ~ Liz