And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
2 Corinthians 9:8 (NIV)

Lately my days have been stolen from me! At least that’s how I would have viewed them in the past. I am learning to view them simply as God having other plans. As my parents age, it’s not unusual for me to get a call that has me drop everything and drive an hour to Cleveland to spend hours at the hospital then drive the hour home. That’s usually followed by phone calls to make, e-mails to write and fallout to deal with the following day or days. That fallout might be more trips to Cleveland, making arrangements of one sort or another, or just dealing with my own emotional condition following the crisis.

I’m not complaining. I am blessed to still have my mom and step-parents around. I’m just saying that God is using this time to teach me in a new way that my time is not my own any more than my money or my possessions are not my own. Learning that my money and possessions were not my own was much easier!

I like my time being my own. I like scheduling out my days and having a plan. I’m even pretty good about things happening that change the plan – because things always happen and plans always change. But the situations I’m facing these days are not changes to plans, these situations are the demolition of plans with little likelihood of being able to develop an alternate plan.

Have you been there? How have you dealt with it?

God is teaching me to let go and trust that He is the author of time and He will and does make it possible to either accomplish what’s necessary or give grace for what isn’t finished as planned. I love that about God.

1) God is teaching me…He doesn’t expect me to just know it. He doesn’t expect me to get it right all the time. He understands that this doesn’t come naturally to me, so He gently pulls and shapes me until I am malleable clay and am formed into the image He has in mind. OK, sometimes it doesn’t feel so gentle, but the end product is pleasing to Him. And if it’s pleasing to Him, I’m good with it.

God has me in training and training is grueling and painful sometimes. Other times it’s repetitive and boring. That’s where perseverance comes in. The Apostle Paul had a few things to say about racing and perseverance:

24Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 27No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NIV)

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Hebrews 12:1 (NIV)

2) He enables me to accomplish things I can’t believe can be accomplished in the time available. Wow! I preached a sermon once about the power of a time-warping God. That sermon was about how He has worked in the past, even before I was born, He works in my present and He is somehow at work in my future – to set things up and help me become the woman of God He wants me to be. That’s pretty powerful stuff. This is a different kind of time warping. This time warping somehow accomplishes four hours worth of work in one – which doesn’t do much for my income when I bill on an hourly basis, but He takes care of that too and it keeps the clients happy which causes them to be repeat customers.

3) He gives grace for what isn’t accomplished that I thought needed to be accomplished. Sometimes I’ll learn that a client was on vacation when I thought he was expecting a project, or I’ll receive changes that would have made all my work a waste had I had time to do it. And sometimes clients are simply understanding as we humbly admit we won’t be able to deliver when we expected to.

Both this point and the previous one are reflected in our company’s key verse:

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
2 Corinthians 9:8 (NIV)

The sum of those three lessons teaches me one other thing – that I truly can do all things through Christ who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13).

I love that God deals with us where we are but takes us to a greater place. He not only has plans for us – plans to prosper us and to give us a hope – but He turns those hopes into reality by walking through our every day life and especially our every day challenges.

My challenge for each of us is to look for what God is doing in each of those 3 areas:

  • What is He teaching you through your most significant challenges this week?
  • How is He helping you get through those challenges?
  • What extra-ordinary grace is He extending to you or others that makes your life work?

My prayer is that we become partners in our growth – recognizing God’s work in us and allowing Him free reign to conform us into the image of Christ – for His glory in heaven and on earth.

Blessings, friends, as you are molded into something greater than you are!

Comments are closed.

© copyright 2009-2013, Data Designs Publishing and Sandra J. Hovatter