Monday, March 21, 2016

Receive Mercy and Find Grace to Help in Time of Need

A song is stuck in my mind.
“God is so good. God is so good. God is so good. He’s so good. To. Me.”

As I set out on a long road trip, last Saturday, I was so proud of myself for getting up at 6:00 a.m. and making it out the door by 6:40 a.m. It was going to be a long trek and I wanted to make it there before it got too late. The GPS said arrival time would be 10:30 p.m. It would have been 9:30 but were going to cross a time zone. Perhaps traffic would be good and we would get there a little earlier than expected. Nope! It was quite the opposite, actually. Between road work, spring showers, and flooding we got set back FIVE (5) HOURS! Five hours!!! I was dumbfounded! Our new arrival time was 3:00 a.m. and that was not acceptable! At 10:00 p.m. I stopped, found a hotel, and we rested. The adventure was doomed to be continued the following day.

Though not the start I had hoped for, spring break was still a success! We made it to the beach, visited with family and long-time friends, I drove around my home town wondering if I even knew where I was, and made some new discoveries. I love how God works! To say He is awesome and amazing does not even scratch the surface. To say He is faithful and true hits a little closer to the mark. Imagine my surprise to catch up with an old friend, who I have not seen in many years, only to find we have been walking the same path all this time. God has kept us side by side even though we did not realize it! Once again, I found myself dumbfounded! I guess this was the trip of astonishment because there is still one more to come! Needless to say, now that we have discovered we are both pilgrims traveling the same weathered road our friendship has taken on a whole new life. Where I once walked alone and felt forsaken, I am now overjoyed to have company! God is sovereign and though I might think I decide my fate, He is in control. He may let me believe I am calling the shots, like the ones who crucified Christ---all the while feeling they had the upper hand yet bringing prophesy to pass---but His will is what stands.
33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33. ESV.)

As I prepared to make the trip back home I checked the weather and cringed. The forecast stated there would be thunderstorms the entire way back! The stress hid during the day and then woke me at night. We got up at 6:00 a.m., said good-bye, and hit the road at 6:35 a.m. The darkness broke into morning. Mild showers met us within a couple hours. And, then once we crossed into the next state, road work had the traffic backed up. Yet, once we cleared the construction, it was blue skies and no traffic delays the ENTIRE rest of the way!!! Praise God! He had had mercy on me and cleared the way! Thank you, Lord!!! For the third and final time on my adventure, I was completely dumbfounded…and in awe!

God is so good. That is definitely difficult to say in times of trial, strife, suffering, pain, sadness, heartache, etc. When I do not understand why His will is what it is for me, it is hard to sing His praises. But Holy Week is a good time for me to reflect on how Jesus came as a man. He felt the burning and restrictions of the flesh. He endured temptation and sorrow. He allowed man to torture and kill Him. All so we may be reconciled to God the Father!
15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:15 & 16. ESV.)
I pray your Holy Week draws you ever closer to God and His precious Son!

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