Friday, May 07, 2010

His Grace is Sufficient by Jaye Lewis

Hello friends,

It’s two days before Mother’s Day, and I’m spending mine in bed with another asthma attack. I hate these attacks. The feeling of suffocation is overwhelming at times. Since I’m a diabetic, I have to avoid prednisone, and so I’m on another corticosteroid, which usually takes longer, but also helps me control my blood sugar better.

Hospitalization is not on my list of things to do, especially with hourly insulin shots that may or may not work, and which could (improperly applied) bring on coma, insulin shock, or even death. I know, these words seem fatalistic, but that is my other choice. So, I’ll wait this out, be a good girl, and I will get well soon, I’m sure.

I’ve done some thinking about all of this, since my attack began last Thursday. I should NOT have waited until Monday to do a call into my doctor. Earlier treatment might just have nipped this in the bud, a lot sooner. So I have only myself to blame. But still, why this attack? Why did God not simply lift me from this ailment, and deliver me before I even got it? I have the evidence of His intimate caring.

Every day He gives to me. He shows me the sunsets, which He paints across the sky, just for me. And I get it. He shows me the colorful little birds which grace my yard and deck, trustingly knowing they will have water and food. And I get it. He encircles my life with my family, who are filled with sacrificial love, and they see to my every need. I am warm when it is cold outside, and I am cool when it is hot.

Then there are the little ways God gives to me; perhaps they are the biggest of all. I’ve been losing my sight, and it is very difficult at times. When the sun is shining, I can still see my garden, with all the trees that I raised from tiny seedlings. I can see the flowers and the towering maples that graced this yard the day we moved in. It has been a long process, turning this yard into something so breathtaking, yet God has led me on.

Almost daily, I lose things that are right in front of my eyes. When the light is low on a cloudy day, I cannot see the tiny details. So, I look and look, knowing that I’ve just passed each item by. That is when I truly turn to the Lord in trust and expectation.

“Lord,” I pray, “I cannot find this small item, that you know I need. Please lead me to where I may find it. You know I depend upon you.” It is rare for me not to immediately find, a lost prescription pill, that my dogs might eat; or an alcohol wipe so that I may test my sugar. Little things. Necessary things. Often things that might harm someone, even me: a tack or pin or toothpick that could go through my shoe. So many little things. And God takes the time and the care to find them for me. This is the God I worship and love.

So, why am I sitting up in bed, with my hair a mess, and, yet again, with that corticosteroid face beginning to show? Doesn’t God love me in this, too? Doesn’t He want to heal me of this? Doesn’t He want me to find my health, and keep it? I’m sure He does. But that’s not what He told the Apostle Paul.

Paul tells his story like this:

To keep me from becoming conceited because of…surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

So God has told me today, “Jaye, my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

“But Father, I want to be well and strong. It’s planting time, weeding time, digging up rocks, and transferring worms to other beds, time. I WANT TO BE WELLLL!!”

“Jaye, My grace is sufficient for you .”

“But Father…”

“My power is made perfect in [your] weakness.”

In just a few words, I’ve gone from anger and resentment, to acceptance and willingness. God is helping me find a need that I didn’t know I needed, and certainly didn’t want. But now I understand in my own small way. If I bear this testimony, that I give in my bed, wishing I could be outside and pull those gosh-awful weeds that are taking over my yard…well, His power is made great in my weakness.

For the longest time, in my Christian walk, I didn’t comprehend that illusive meaning of grace. “For it is by grace that we are saved, and not of ourselves,” the Bible tells us. What could this possibly mean? Suddenly one day, while pouring over these verses, the light suddenly dawned. The grace that I sought, had already been given, on a lonely hill called Golgotha, 2000 years ago. I can’t earn it. I can’t buy it. I can’t bribe God or promise Him anything for His great gift of grace. And then for Him to say that His grace is sufficient for me, because His power is made perfect in my weakness…? Tears come to my eyes, and I see so many more things than my eyes can behold.

Shining Star by Jaye Lewis

Shining Star filled with light,
For You, I’ll not give up the fight.
Through fire, cold, or rushing water,
I will be Your faithful daughter.

You are the One Who comes for me,
And pulls me from the raging sea.
You gather me within your arm
And keep me safe from any harm.

Dear Lord, my God, they do not see
The evidence you give to me.
They feel not your fingers brush their hair,
They know you not, yet do not care.

What shall I do? I’m just one voice;
A little one who makes the choice,
That I will serve you all my days,
In unimportant little ways.

Those little ways can change another,
Father, mother, sister, brother,
That all mankind will see in me,
The Shining Star I see in Thee.

© Jaye Lewis, May 5, 2010

Thank you, my friends, for listening today. I needed to write this. I needed to hear it. God’s grace is sufficient for me, just as it is for you.

With love, Jaye Lewis

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