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Life from Grace

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Christianity

A Force for Hope

I have battled darkness and came out unscathed.
I have wandered the night and not gotten lost.
I have disappeared across the horizon, but I always come again.

I am the candle beside the path when you can not see the way.
I am the bringer of warmth, and the nurturer of life.
I am waiting around bend when the night darkness has reached its peak,

Without me, the season’s do not change.
Without me, there are not shadows to lurk upon the ground.
Without me, the definition of darkness can not be found.

I am Light.

“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” – Albus Dumbledore, JK Rowling.

The Unexpected Savior

When Jesus came to earth, he did not come remarkably with loud procession and exclamation, he came quietly, born of a not particularly special woman, in a smelly stable, in a crowded town.  When he grew up he did not overthrow the invading Roman empire and give the Jews back their homeland, he preached of loving ones enemies and dying to oneself to live again.  When he was about 33 years old he died a sinners death, alone, on a cross, while even his closest of friends betrayed him.

All expectations the people of the time had for their promised and coming Savior were broken the moment God chose an ordinary man and women to do the extraordinary.  Jesus broke bread with sinners, he performed miracles on the Sabbath day, he associated with the unclean, and in doing so made enemies of the very people who should have recognized who he was, the Pharisees.

The Pharisees were masters of the Old Testament law, the Mosaic law, and were charged with teaching the people and with aiding people in the atoning of their sins, but they could not even recognize the multitude of prophecies that Jesus fulfilled upon his life, death and resurrection.  The Jewish people were expecting someone who would defeat the Romans for them, but instead he died at the hands of the Romans.

My point in all of this is that God works in unexpected ways.  Even in the Old Testament times God acted in unexpected ways as well, choosing a Hebrew raised in the household of the Pharaoh of Egypt to free the Hebrews from their bondage, among other examples.  If God has continually worked in unexpected ways to reveal His majesty, His justice, and His grace, why should I expect Him to act any differently in my life?  God’s word says that He is able to immeasurably more than anything we can imagine, but do we really expect Him to do big things in our lives, or is that just the God in the Bible who is able to do these things?  Well I’ve got BIG news for you people, the God of the Bible is still God today, and He WANTS to and is GOING to do big things in YOUR life.

I’m saying these things because I feel like I always try to limit God to only doing things that I want, in the way I want it, and when I want it.  In other words I want God to work the way I expect.  But obviously that is not how God works.  God is not limited by the plans that I can fathom and the ideas that I create, in fact, I often think that he rejoices in taking my plans and blowing them out of the water, and that’s a GOOD thing!  He rejoices in doing this because he says my beloved daughter, you may think this is good and will bring happiness, but I have something BETTER for you in mind.

The past three weeks have put me at the end of my rope.  I felt hopeless and defeated by this world.  I had no desire to read the hope of God’s word and no desire to try and be encouraged through others, I just wanted to live in my own perpetual pity party.  But thankfully that was not God’s plan for me.  You see, I was so discouraged because God was not giving me what I wanted and not acting the way that I expected.  I met with a good friend last week who was also struggling with some issues and we whined together, but then she convinced us to turn to God’s word to find hope, and by the end of our time together, I felt a little more encouraged.  Encouraged enough for us to pray together.  I’ve been thinking about the whole Unexpected Savior topic for a while so I decided to pray for God to work in both of lives in an unexpected way.

This past weekend God showed up in unexpected ways in both of our lives to the extent that it was impossible for me not to fall on my knees and give HIM all the glory.  There is no way that what has happened in my life recently was of my own doing and I think that’s why God chooses to work in unexpected ways.  God wants AND DESERVES ALL the glory in my life, yet it is so easy to brush him off and push him aside for later when he works in the expected ways; the ways I want and when I want it.

So at the end of this all I want to ask each one of you who reads this one simple question.  Are you expected God to work in unexpected ways in your life, or are you falling into the trap of placing Gods work under human standards?  God seeks to show you His power and His love, just not always in the way that you expect it!

If we all prayed for God to work in unexpected ways in this world and actually believed that God would follow through on our prayers, imagine what would be possible!

Also, this song came to my mind while writing this post, so take a listen, it’s a favorite of mine! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uyv1jUDLY3s

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A (delayed) Easter Poem

The Voice of Truth

Your words speak truth,

truth that teaches love,

love that cries mercy,

mercy which covers my sins,

sins which no longer hold me.

Hold me in yours hands,

hands that calm the storms,

storms which stop at your words.

Your words speak truth. 

Someday

Someday I’ll stand before my King
and love with all my being.
I’ll fear no pain or hurt or sting,
that day I stand before my King.

The Beacon

The Beacon

Look, don’t you see?

Like a beacon of hope

in a stormy sea

It stands.

Listen, don’t you hear?

Like the voices of a thousand people

Crying out in bitter agony,

It weeps.

Touch, don’t you feel?

Like a river

Flooding over the freshly planted seed,

It flows.

I see, I hear, I feel,

I rejoice.

The beacon it beckons me,

Singing to me of freedom,

Of water for this empty well,

Of healing for these broken bones,

Of hope for this weary soul.

p.s. I know this isn’t my normal blog type post, but it’s been a while, and I just felt this inspiration suddenly to write this, so I hope you enjoyed!

Finding the Peace and Joy this Christmas

Christmas is almost here, and let me tell you, I could not be more ready for it.  The year 2012 has been full of ups and downs and this past semester has been on full speed since the first day it started.  This Christmas, I’m just looking forward to having some time to myself just to sit down, take a breather, and process what’s been going on in my life.  But at the same time, Christmas time can also be one of the most stressful times of the year what with the gift giving and the family visiting and such.  This Christmas I aim to find the peace in all the hustle and bustle and bring myself back to the “reason for the season”, if I may use such a cliché term.  But truly, Christmas is about celebrating the gift of Jesus Christ born as a babe that has been given to us.  I think we could all benefit, well at least I know I could, if we took some time to reflect on just why this is so important to our lives anyways and why we are actually celebrating this holiday.

As I was thinking about writing this post, I had to stop and think about what it actually means to find peace.  I had to ask myself the question of what do I actually need to bring myself to peace with and how can I go about this?  Throughout this process, I discerned that I need to come to peace with Gods plan for my life.  Those who know me probably know that I may be just slightly a little bit of a major control freak.  I like to be in control of decisions and happenings in my life and I always like to have a plan for things.  I’ve been trying to work on this trait for a while, but let me tell you, it’s not an easy thing to get rid of, it’s layers deep.  I was practically positive when I entered college last year that I knew what I was going to do, but low and behold I already changed my major.  That whole process was challenging because I had no idea what my new path would lead me down, just that I did not want to be where I was, but now I can look back realize that God knew exactly where I needed to be and had everything in control.  I keep on going back to the example of Peter and Jesus when Peter walks on water.  I see so much of myself in Peter in this section.  The passage goes like this:   “And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, bid me come to you on the water.”  He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus; but when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “O man of little faith, why did you doubt?”” (Matthew 14: 28-31).  God was protecting Peter from all the craziness, the blowing winds the crashing waves, that could have caused him to stumble and sink, and Peter was walking in peace with God.  But still, Peter doubted that God could handle this situation and then he began to sink.  I find myself trying to give all of myself to God, but as soon as something gets hard I try to control the situation myself, which really makes no sense at all, because I think that it just must be too big for God to handle.

So, long story short, this Christmas I’m finding peace with God’s plan for my life, for my future career, relationships, and other aspects.  There may be troubles in the world, but God has already OVERCOME the world.

I’m finding the peace and joy this Christmas by celebrating the person who overcame the world and allows me to find peace in this life.  What are you celebrating?

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