Thursday, August 4, 2011

Sufficient Grace


But He said to me,
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."
2 Corinthians 12:9


If I am anything at this time, I am weak. Physically, emotionally, even (sometimes especially) spiritually. In and of myself I have nothing to brag about. None of my visible talents or knowledge or experience qualifies me to walk this walk. God is stripping me bare in my soul. He is removing anything that I may have clung to which was not Him. Maybe that's what's hardest about all of this~ that I have learned to cover up with so many things that weren't God.

At the core He is making this all about Him. "Do I really trust Him?" He keeps asking me. I keep fighting to answer yes. "How about now?" He asks. Is He enough? Am I willing? Will I walk in obedience down this path that He is leading me on? Do I really know Him?

I can still hear Trent's voice in my mind. I can envision him coming down the stairs in the morning, walking up close, saying, "Hi Mom!" I can still remember the feel of his hand at my lower back, rubbing it like he always did. I can still remember how tall he was when he stood next to me. I can see those eyes. That smile. And if he was still here, I would be checking to see if he had brushed his teeth yet.

But today my thoughts are about Trent being in heaven. My longings are to be where he is, not to have him back here. They are longings that dull any joy here. I struggle to delight in what God has for me here, because I want to be there. A friend encouraged me that it is okay to take delight in things here even without Trent; that God would give me the grace for every first without him.

I can't imagine this without that grace. I feel the pain and wonder how much more so it would be if God wasn't already giving grace. I think of how gracious God has been in every step of this already, and realize that He didn't have to be. He didn't have to save Trent. We could be questioning where he is. Or, worse yet, we could be learning how to praise a God who is just to send people to hell for their sins. Trent could be paralyzed, or still unresponsive in a hospital bed somewhere. But God was gracious, and Trent is in heaven.

One day we will all die. There is enough evidence to prove it, unless of course the rapture comes first, but most of us can count on dying. I try to remember this all from eternity's side.

I have been thinking about how grace can't be relived or stored up for the future. I ponder being at the hospital the night of Trent's accident, and I can hardly handle the thoughts most days. That grace was given then when we needed it. I can remember the grace that was given. I can marvel at what God allowed us to do in the midst of that grace. I can stand in awe of the God who gave grace when we desperately needed it, but I have to count on God's grace for this day to be new. For every little detail, for every moment, for every thought; He gives it as He pleases.

The dark days remind me again of how gracious God is. I have just come through a streak of tough days. When the light finally shines through I rejoice all the more. I cling to God all the more. I long to stay on this side, rather than go back to the dark, the pain, the hopelessness. In those days I forget. I wonder what that grace felt like. I long for it. But I cannot conjure it up on my own. I wait on my God. I feel what He has for me to feel. I trust His leading. I hold on. I thank Him for those who carry me in their prayers, and often times with their own arms, words, and presence. I thank Him for His grace which is sufficient, and for His power which is revealed, in my weakness.