A Time to Embrace

AZ Cactus w
Arizona Cactus

A Time for Everything 
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8 NIV

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

There is nothing quite like the it-has-been-so-long-since-I-have-squeezed-you hug, the I’ve-missed-you hug or the I-don’t-know-when-I-will-see-you-again hug. Those are some serious embraces and there is so much packed into them! Even though they are embraces from different points of view they are embraces that say Now, here we are, together! Hooray!” And that is where we must focus — on today!

If you are anything like me, you might want to know what the future holds, but there really aren’t any guarantees that we will take a breath tomorrow and there are no promises our dearest family and friends will either, so please hug the ones you love while you can. Embrace today.

I don’t believe this means we should live in fear but we should embrace our people and each day as the gifts they are. When our heart and arms are open to God’s gifts they are easier to receive. There are times we are left to wonder “what is God going to do with all of this?” but that is His job and will be revealed in His time.

But what about embracing the really ugly stuff? What about the “cacti” in our lives? Those pokey and uncomfortable and painful situations that have been inserted into our lives by way of our own sin, someone else’s sin or the sin and death that we have in this world. What then? Often we have no choice except to ask God for the grace and mercy to move forward.

His grace is sufficient!

Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. [2 Corinthians 2:8-10 NIV]


No matter the circumstance, God can and will redeem it for His purposes. I am not to the point where I delight in insults and hardships and persecutions and difficulties but I have seen God’s grace time after time in my life and yet I still need reminders! It’s a part of my human condition.

Lord, I don’t know my future but I trust You will provide me for the grace and strength to get through it!

On the way,



Grace. Period.


MyLifewIf 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,