Monday, February 18, 2013

Dumpings of Great Grace on My Little Ache

Being strengthened with all power 
according to his glorious might 
so that you may have 
great endurance and patience....
Colossians 1:11

I skittered into Colossians over the weekend... I love visiting this book in different versions. The above is the NIV. I've been reading scripture from the NIV, NLT and the Message of late.

This verse resonated with me.... to my core.
How like this God that loves me so-- that this would be the words He wants me to write on my heart and sketch in my mind this new week.
I have struggled in little, small, mostly unseen ways and hid hurt this past week.
Carried around an ache I didn't wish to name and that no-naming seemed to seep into so very many things.
Then *snap* just like that my little hurt had to be set aside so that I might take on something else.
And be up to the challenge.
I set my small pains aside so that I could reach out to help someone I love with a much bigger, less managable pain. And found myself profoundly grateful to cancel the pity party I hadn't been quite aware I'd been painstakingly planning.

He plans- oh, how He plans. He knows and He plans and its all good.
Its all good.
Great endurance and patience....
Ah, it seems He is always trying to get me to not only understand but to live out those two words....
Knowing what they mean isn't enough-- you have to live in the midst of those words.
Be patient.
Don't hide out from the pain but meet the challenge with God beside you.

Sometimes we are delivered from the fire and sometimes we are called to endure the fire and be delivered through the experience..... and from that endurance we develop patience.
Sometimes the fires are small little campfires and other times they are raging infernos.
And while I ponder this- I also think that sometimes we make a campfire out to be an inferno.
And other times something that starts out as a firestorm inferno will dampen down to an itty bitty campfire.
I think endurance and patience can be fire extinguishers.
At least thats the way its happened for me. And wonder of wonders the endurance and patience brought along a heap of grace.
Great grace.
And I was undone by His great grace- He with the Great Plan... I can now look back and see how He took a trial that has been a fiery furnace for me, a fire I've endured for over three years..... He pulled me through it to the other side- it didn't happen in one momentous moment but in small ones that accumulated in the quiet until the fire was no longer surrounding me.
How just like Him to love me so.
And yet- I, who by His grace, had walked through that fiery furnace almost let myself be tripped up by a campfire. Its the small things that get you because you think you can take care of them on your own. Have you ever tried to put out a small fire and in the doing so only fanned the flames and made it bigger? For a moment I forgot the strength and power that only comes from his glorious might (that's the fire extinguisher!).

I am not capable on my own. I realize that I can trust, have faith and dig down deep for endurance and even patience when I'm facing a fiery furnace- crying out and leaning on Him.... but I don't put the same effort into a campfire..... I get it when it comes to enduring the big trials but I find myself whining and complaining in the midst of life's small campfire- hiccups.
And I forget that He's got great plans for me that include all the little incidentals. I get hung up on the word "great" and equate it with big, huge, gi-normous and gloss over the simple truth that He's a God of details and His plans are infinite and finite and intricate and that He wants to be the God of everything to me.
And so it was that He got a hold of me and gently reminded me that He cares about all the things I care about- right down to the smallest pains, the old pains that ache in little ways.
And this is when I learn a bit more about endurance and patience and what it means to hold on according to His glorious might.
And just in case you didn't know- His Glorious Might is HUGE!
and that might, that glorious might is in the smallest pieces too.
Today I am strengthened through this might and I am more than able to endure.... to which I whisper joyfully- "Thank you Lord for caring about my little pity-party hurts and pains. Thank you more for helping me see beyond them. For giving me a change of focus. For adding another layer of endurance. For teaching me a bit more about patience. Thank you for dumping great grace on my little ache."

*edited repost from the archives*
Still so very relevant to me


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