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,
Today’s PrayerPoint ~ Psalm 10
“You hear, O Lord, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, in order that man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more.” Psalm 10:17-18
It may not always seem to be true, but God does hear our desires. God hears the cry of the oppressed. There are times I get impatient with the amount of time it takes for a resolution to come for those who are suffering. It seems like they suffer a lifetime of grief. Other times I take issue with how the situation gets resolved because it isn’t quite the way I imagined it should go.
But we do live in a sinful and fallen world. And while I have a busy imagination, I cannot even fathom how God is going to work most things out. Sometimes He works in an instant but oftentimes He works through years and generations. He has a much bigger picture in mind!
I believe that God also asks us to hear the desires of the afflicted, encourage them, and defend the fatherless and the oppressed. But how often are we just too busy with things to take the time to listen?
I have had an amazing opportunity and privilege to be home with our four kids as they were growing up. Even though life was very busy, I knew it would have been very difficult to fit in a full-time job and remain sane. We didn’t take yearly vacations and we don’t drive fancy new cars, but I always try to be intentional about listening and encouraging those who are traveling through a difficult time. I may not have any answers or be able to offer much in the way of assistance, but the listening part is important. Listening always gives me things to pray for.
As you go about your weekend, practice listening. If you have a tendency to mindlessly scroll through your cell phone while in conversation with others, set the phone down and try to really connect and hear. There are so many distractions available these days that make the hard job of listening to another’s pain easier to ignore but don’t be complacent about connecting with others. God wants us to be His hands and feet and share His Good News of His saving grace but we often need to listen first to make a good connection!
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things. Philippians 4:8 NIV
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I would imagine we all have a little different idea about what constitutes lovely. But while we live in this world we will see some ugliness. Some of it will come from us. Some of it will happen to us. Some of it will happen to those we love. It is easy to dwell in what is truly ugly in this world because we bump into it all day long. Sin is all around us and it brings out some un-lovely things.
It is incredible that God can look at us and see beauty because Christ has covered our sin. Amazing. There is so much that is lovely in God’s Word and God’s promises. And in the difficult days of Holy Week–in the pain and suffering and sacrifice and surrendering of Jesus there is the beauty of God’s love that is displayed. So while God has created nature — much of it simply beautiful and breath-taking, it would seem His most amazing work is when He takes the thing we can’t possibly imagine as a good, right, or lovely thing and makes it so.
God’s idea of beauty is so unlike ours. He can bring beauty from ashes. He proclaims beautiful the feet that bring Good News.
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” Romans 10:14-15 NIV
May your sweet feet travel far as you share what He has done in your life! God Loves You! No Foolin’!