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  • Dark Shadows and God's Grace

    1 posts, 1 voices, 936 views, started Feb 7, 2011

    Posted on Monday, February 7, 2011 by Vintagemama

    • Amethyst

      "Your worst days are never so bad
      that you are beyond the reach of God's grace.
      And your best days are never so good

                that you are beyond the need of God's grace."  

      ~Jerry Bridges

      And yet our memories are so short. In the midst of the joyous, peaceful times of rest and confidence, we may not consciously proclaim that we do not need God's grace . . . . but how often do we live as if that is true? Then, when we walk through the darkest days of pain, grief, and brokenness, we can frequently still articulate our belief in God's grace, and yet we continue to live as if it were not so. We carry that heavy burden alone, when we really could seek God's face, knowing that He is there to guide us through those valleys and shadows. He does not promise that we will not face trials and hardships, but His Word promises that He will walk with us in the midst of those dark places.

       "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me." Psalm 23: 4

       "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you. So we say with confidence, 'The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man to to me?'" Hebrews 13: 5-6

       And then we are reminded, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." Hebrews 13:8

      No matter how devastated, destitute, broken, angry, helpless, or hopeless we might feel, He is there. You only have to live long enough and you will encounter struggles. No one is exempt. Frequently the obstacles that we encounter are thrown into our pathway by other people. But we need to remember: "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?" Well, in reality, there is a LOT that other people can do to us . . . . that is not the point of this statement. It is that, because the Lord is my helper, I don't need to be afraid of what others can do to us. They'll still do it, make no mistake about that! But with God's grace, we can rise above all of the ugliness that other people can send our way.

       But what about those things that just seem to "happen" in life? Accidents, natural disasters, broken health, death . . . . are they beyond the grace of God? "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil . . . . " God will carry us through even those moments of tragedy and terror. It is easy for us all to sit in judgment of others who are suffering, and piously pronounce God's grace – we must be wise and cautious, because in this life, we will all experience pain. And so, as one who has walked through a few valleys, perhaps not the same valleys that you have walked through, but nevertheless some very dark valleys, I can assure you that you will come out the other side of that lonely place and realize you were really never alone at all. And in the brightly shining sunshine of God's love, you will again blossom and flourish beneath the blessing of His grace.

       But when those days of peace and tranquility return, let us all remember the shadows. Let us all walk in humility, sharing the truth of His grace with those who all around us who are in the midst of their own valley. And let us never be so arrogant as to think that we will never stumble and fall into a place of despair. Life is difficult, but God is big enough to hold us close through the very deepest, darkest places, even if we try to hide from Him. Keep walking, seeking His face, and you WILL find the light. You WILL know His peace again. I promise.

       PS That is one of the blessings of getting older  ;o) Once we've survived the brokenness, and God has taken the ashes of our devastation and turned it into something that shines so much brighter than we could have ever imagined, we now have the privilege of walking with someone else who might be struggling. This, too, is true, I promise.

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