Is There Anything That Doesn’t Run Out?

Is There Anything That Doesn’t Run Out?

We have been blessed – spoiled! I never experienced empty shelves in the grocery store in my whole life until recently. America, the land of plenty, is feeling the crunch as much as the rest of the world. First we had the hoarding due to the unknown repercussions of the Coronavirus. Next came the shutdowns, backlog of ordered products and supply chain breakdown. I am flabbergasted as I stare at the empty rows . We have lived in a dispensable society and when something ran out we just went to buy more without a thought.

With Valentine’s Day around the corner everyone runs out to buy cards, candy and flowers. There are Hallmark movies galore and mushy sentiment oozes out for a few days. At least people will try to be kind. But human love is a fragile and fickle thing. True love isn’t based on emotions and material goods or well being. In the Bible we read story after story of Gods mercy, which is compassion in action and grace, all the blessings we receive and are undeserved.

The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can’t know him if you don’t love. 9 This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. 10 This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God. 1 John 4:8-10 (MSG)

We can understand the love of a mother for her newborn or the starry eyed love of a bride and groom. But our love isn’t perfect because we can become impatient, short tempered and selfish. Everything we know on earth will eventually get used up, run out or die. So it can be difficult to understand God’s sacrificial love that is offered freely, eternally and unconditionally. His love never fails, never gives up and never runs out on us.

 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35,37-39 (NLT)

The old hymn The Love of God was written by F.M. Lehman in 1917 when he was working in a citrus packing plant. But the third verse actually came from from the pen of and eleventh century Jewish poet in Germany named Meir Ben Isaac Nehorai. The words beautifully describe the immeasurable love of God.

Could we with ink the ocean fill and were the skies of parchment made,

Were every stalk on earth a quill, and every man a scribe by trade,

To write the love of God above would drain the ocean dry,

Nor could the scroll contain the whole though stretched from sky to sky.

Many people do not feel loved or worthy of love but the fact is that God does love you no matter where you live, where you have gone or what you have done. He wants a relationship with each and everyone of us and He is patiently waiting for us to run into His arms. Accept the free gift of salvation through Jesus and celebrate real love this Valentine’s day.

Holding on to Grace

Holding on to Grace

I’ve just finished a long season in life caring for my Dad. When he passed away in December I realized I don’t have to pay his bills, check his clothes and advocate for his care.  Someone has already taken his bed at the nursing home and I don’t belong there anymore. I no longer will bring him a Dunkin and a muffin. I guess part of what I feel is grief in saying goodbye but also a loss of my position as daughter and caretaker.

My children are grown and are trying to establish their own lives in this world. Jeremy – our special needs son – lives at home and will always need supervision and support to manage life but he too has a job and daily routine that doesn’t include my direct care.

Not quite 60 I have retired from my career as an operating room nurse due to health concerns. Although I mostly worked part-time it has been a challenging, highly skilled and exciting part of my life and meaningful part of my person-hood.

I am a person that likes “to do”, be busy and be involved. But at this juncture in my life when I should feel free and relaxed, I started hearing an old voice of insecurity!  “You are too young to retire, you are lazy, nobody cares, what are you going to DO with your life?”  A friend hit the nail on the head when she commented , “I think you are under spiritual attack .You’ve got to give yourself grace. You have been through a lot the past few years!”

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9  not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.       Eph 2:8-10 (ESV)

I’ve always been told Grace means “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense”. Jesus paid it all for gracerockmy salvation and I don’t do anything to earn it. So what does grace look or feel like?  What are some of God’s riches for me at this point in my life?

It is FREEDOM –

  • no regrets in how we cared for my Dad or my Mother-in law – no guilt.
  • to rest – I don’t have to work a very physically and mentally demanding job .
  • to choose – I don’t have to beat myself up for not going to the gym or whatever lie the inner voice says

My IDENTITY is not defined by what I do!  It is WHO I AM.

  • In Christ, I am a daughter of the King! His Princess! His beloved Child
  • In My relationships – I am a wife, mother, sister, cousin, friend and neighbor- I can focus on, enjoy and pray for them all!

37 And Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. ”     Matt 22:37-39

My RESPONSIBILITY in this new season

  • is to love God first and foremost with heart, soul and mind. I cannot do that without daily spending time reading His word and in prayer.
  • right now is to just BE and to WAIT for Him to show me what the next step is. He isn’t finished with me yet!

“Be still, and know that I am God”.       Psalms 46:10 (ESV)

 “but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”    Isaiah 40:31 (ESV)

   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.       Heb 4:16 (ESV)

 My PRAYER

  • Dear God, help me to stop striving and just hold onto GRACE.

 

gracefree