When she was small, maybe 3? My daughter looked up at me, her face crumpling.
I had said, “no.”
The moment is forever etched in my mind. Her face, indicative of a broken heart. Why is her heart breaking? Does she think…she is taking this no too hard…I don’t love her?
“I love you,” I reassured her. “I love you, but it’s just a no.”
Her heart heard!
Her face cleared.
“OK Momma,” she sweetly responded.
Sometimes God gives me grace moments that teach me.
I believe the insight to my daughter’s heart came from him.
Grace upon grace.
Because now (10 years later?) I see myself the little girl. Face crumpling. Tempted to cry and wail at the no, at the uncertainty of life, at what I thought was an obvious yes or an unquestioned continuation brought up short, tempted to fear the worst, I hear:
“I love you, but no.”
A friend takes me out for coffee, to hear my heart. She tells me hers and all of a sudden I realize I can reassure her. “It doesn’t mean God doesn’t love me. Somehow he is at work here.” Dear friend, she meets with me weekly, a sort of peer counseling.
Pushing back the fear. Saying no to the tempting emotions, you know, the face crumpling kind. Another friend affirms. You don’t have to sink into faithlessness. Keep the Kingdom vision.
God says, “No to that because here’s an opportunity…”
God says, “No to that but in the meantime here’s a bonus while you yet continue.”
God says, “No to that beyond this year but you have this year full of grace, trust me!”
I want security, the usual: house, work, food, happy family. But “My father was a wandering Aramean,” the line comes to me from Passover celebrations or Old Testament readings. My father Abraham, father in the faith, he left home to follow God’s call, and though he was blessed by God with so much (even though he lied to Pharaoh about Sarai!) he didn’t exactly ever have a permanent home. Where was his security then? In God. He’s just died, in our One Year Chronological Bible reading, he died at 175, having seen Isaac marry Rebecca and after 20 years have twin boys, and Esau and Jacob were 15 when he died…he began to see the promise of descendents like stars.
Okay, God, I trust your love.
When you say no, I will thank you.
I’ll believe it is grace, from your hand.
Thank you for the many signs of grace you give
after the no.
Thank you for your love!
Mercy is not getting what we deserve.
Grace is getting what we don’t deserve:
Sometimes not getting mercy is grace from God, for don’t consequences teach a child? But, consequences tempered by love, surrounded by graces teach wisdom, childlike faith.
No to this because yes to something better.
No, I can’t give you that, but wait!
I’m waiting in this year for God’s grace poured out,
and thanking and praising him!
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Click on the button to read others’ posts about their one word, the idea that God gives you a word to show you himself and what he’s doing through the upcoming year. It’s not a resolution or a goal, it’s a perspective and a peace.