clinging to Grace…

Wednesday Wisdom 🙂


Inspiration this week comes from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians 3: 14-18

“When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.”


I remember reading these verses with Megan a few nights before the Nebraska State Track Meet a couple of years ago. To say that she was nervous would have been an understatement, she was a wreck. The stress of competition had depleted her confidence and left her in a pit of fear. Instead of looking up and remembering the love of her Father in heaven, she had tied herself into knots worrying that she wasn’t good enough. I don’t know exactly how she felt as we read these verses together, but my “mama’s heart” calmed as the Holy Spirit assured me that Megan was beloved and held by the Father. She would be just fine.

She, in fact, was just fine. Jesus carried her through the state track meet all the way to the medal stand. The gold medal from the Nebraska State Activities Association was awesome, but the lesson she learned about faith made it seem pale in comparison. She learned to cling to Grace and her roots have since grown deep into God’s love to bring her a new kind of strength. The strength that is found in the realization of the power of God’s love. I’ve read the above passages from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians many times since that day, and I always take a moment to remember how these verses came alive for Meg in the spring of 2018 and then again in the spring of 2019.


We all pass through hard times. We experience moments, days, perhaps even years that shake our core and threaten our peace. I would venture a guess that each of us has experienced some level of this in recent months as our lives changed dramatically due to Covid-19. Over and above the physical challenge of Covid, we have also experienced a growing emotional chasm in our country fueled by passionate and often opposing opinions. Instead of living in community with hearts united for a meaningful purpose, we’ve fallen into a trap where fear overrides our ability to accept and share Grace. I know that I need the daily reminder of how wide, how long, how high and how deep God’s love is. That love calls me to cling to Grace in order to find strength, patience, peace, and joy. It battles directly against the fear, frustration, anger, and temptation to judge that threatens my heart.

Today, a small group of awesome middle school and high school students finish up our four week Bible study on “how to chose joy regardless of circumstance”. While we specifically studied another of Paul’s epistles (to the people of Philippi), I believe that the above verses to the Ephesians also speak directly to this topic.

I believe that our ability to chose joy and to experience peace through challenging times is directly related to the depth of our understanding and trust in God’s love.

When that trust runs deep, our hearts fill with love and gratefulness. We then become able to recognize fully the beauty of what we have, instead of getting hung up on those things that we do not have.

Clinging to Grace becomes a habit when we choose to make it one. Some days it is really hard, and some of those days I fail to accomplish it. But, I believe that it provides the answer to what we all inherently search for: acceptance, love, value and purpose. I know that the days that I truly believe and trust in the vast power of God’s love are my good days. They are the days that He hangs the gold medal on my heart – the medal that allows me to chose joy, find peace, and cling to the beautiful Grace of a good, good Father.

I pray that as I prepare to send my girls back to school – two to college and one to high school – that we will all cling to Grace and be inspired to share God’s love, the ultimate medal to be found on our earthly journey 🙂

 

10 Comments

Filed under General, Wednesday Wisdom

10 responses to “clinging to Grace…

  1. Roger Hunt

    Thanks, Anne!! Thanks! I needed that. 😊

    • Good to hear from you, Roger! I hope that you and your awesome family are doing well 😊I know that I owe you a phone call to talk about The Return of the Prodigal Son – I apologize that I have been so slow responding. We are in the last week of swim team so I’ve been focused on the kids ❤️and getting my girls ready to go to school.

      Take care,
      Anne

  2. Becky SADDLER

    I have used this passage often when praying for someone. It is such a powerful Scripture!

    • Yes, I too love these verses. So much comfort – power – and awesomeness wrapped up in a few sentences 😊❤️I hope that you and your family are doing well.

      Take care,
      Anne

  3. Ella

    Thank you Anne!

    • Hi Ella! I hope that you and your family are doing well 😊 It’s awesome to hear from you ❤️ Please tell Karla that I said hi! I hope that she had an awesome birthday 🌈

      Take care,
      Anne

  4. Anne, that was a great and positive as well as personal presentation of the gospel. I would encourage any believer who is living with fear to read an essay by Dr. Jeremiah Johnston from the Christian Thinkers Society. https://christianthinkers.com/2019/12/trusting-gods-promises-in-all-circumstances/

    • Hi Bruce! Thank you for sharing the link 😊I think that this is such an important topic as we all venture through our spiritual journey. There is no promise that it will be easy, but we don’t walk alone and the finish line is a beautiful guarantee. It is so truly beautiful to be a part of God’s plan – even if it isn’t exactly what you thought it would be!

      Take care,
      Anne

  5. Erik S

    I have been using this prayer every morning for the past week as I am going through one of the hardest times in my life. I gave up my faith in the Lord as certain things did not turn out as I wanted them to. This prayer is helping me to get back to knowing the Lord’s love for me, even when I’ve greatly messed up. Thank you Anne, I have been following you for years now.

  6. Erik S

    I have been using this prayer every morning for the past week as I’m going through one of the hardest times in my life. I lost my faith as events didnt turn out as I wanted them to and didn’t surrender to the Lord’s will. This prayer is reminding me that He still loves me even after all of my mistakes.

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