Being in quarantine has afforded me some beautiful moments. One afternoon, my mother and I sat and chatted at the kitchen table. We cackled as I recounted the story of a time I ran away from home. I know this can be a serious matter for some people but, that wasn’t the case with me. Although, at the time it felt serious and I was adamant about my cause. Just a little background; when I was a child, I hated vegetables. Without fail, night after night, I was made to eat them. But this day, I had had enough!
With child-like boldness (because I was a child) I confronted my mother about the night’s menu. The way I remember it, we were set to be served broccoli, one of the ultimate, most disgusting vegetables on the planet that I love today. I expressed to my mother that I did not want broccoli. In fact, I probably reminded her that I didn’t like vegetable at all and that I was putting my foot down. I refused to eat them. In true “Mother” fashion, as cool as a cucumber, she responded that it was fine, and I didn’t have to eat anything.
The conversation escalated to a place I didn’t plan. Keeping my tone in a place that prevented me from being strangled I said, “I’m running away!” To which my mother responded, “Go ahead”. Flabbergasted, I rushed to my room, determined to stand my ground, and I packed my bag. Yes I did! As I stuffed my undershirts and colorful little panties into my purple Minnie & Mickey locker backpack (evidently all I needed were undergarments), I mumbled under my breath how unfair it was to be made to eat vegetables.
As I made my way to the front door, my mother met me there with something to say. Had I convinced her? Surely, she didn’t want me out in the big, dangerous world to fend for myself. Ready to receive my apology, I awaited her words with anticipation. My mother opened her mouth to speak, she said, “Don’t forget that you can’t cross the street by yourself.” I was crushed because she was right, I couldn’t. After a slow stroll around the block I returned home, defeated. And there my mother was, waiting for me in the doorway.
In this story God spoke to me. He showed me that He is all-together nourishing! Our parents, like God, do things such as, make us eat vegetables even when we don’t want to because, it’s good for us. How many times have we let the nourishment of God run us away from His house or protest His standards? What we must know about God the Father is that He is good. He desires good for us. It is the nutrition of His word that allows us to grow in faith and in the knowledge of Jesus. It may not always taste good but, it is indeed good for us.
(…sits at table. Eats vegetables.)
At times, when we ask for help, we are truly and honestly asking for assistance. But at other times, we’re asking that someone else do the thing that we do not want to do ourselves. Recently, God made me super aware that I do the latter a lot… with Him! With the world being “shut down” due to the corona virus outbreak, my daily routine was thrown off. From a schedule standpoint, my sleep and prayer routine became raggedy and I found myself slacking in work, and other goals I wanted to accomplish.
So late one night, because I was up, I spoke with the Lord about it and asked Him to help me get back on track with a healthy sleep schedule and prayer routine that allowed me to show up and be productive. The next morning, a very short three and a half hours later, I woke up at 6:30 a.m. An entire 30 minutes before my alarm went off. Initially I thought, “It’s early, I can go back to sleep.” But in that moment, I realized that I felt a grace to be up at that time and it was the answer to the prayer I just prayed.
After my prayer time, initially, I felt a sense of gratitude (for His grace) but immediately after, repentant tears rolled down my face. I began to cry because, in a flash, I remembered the times when I asked for God’s help and He extended His grace, but I rejected it. Through that repentance He showed me something.
Grace is His power, His ability, His strength and it’s what He provides in our weakness (for our weakness) and in order to experience it, we have to receive it. When we don’t overcome the things that work against His plan for our life, it’s not because we’re unable to, it’s because we don’t receive the power that enables us to. In short, God’s grace is given but, it also needs to be accepted.
Not too long ago, I went through a season of just outright rejecting God’s grace. I also was not reading my Bible or praying with the intention to change. I didn’t have His word so my faith could not rise to the occasion when the opportunity to overcome was presented. Faith comes by hearing the word of Christ. And I wasn’t trying to hear Him on this particular matter. The danger in constantly rejecting God’s grace, is a thickening of our heart where it’s no longer tender; so now, we are dealing with pride in addition to the issue we need to overcome.
We fail in the areas that we don’t let the Word touch. We must be willing to allow God’s truth (His word) to dig up in our heart and destroy the things that contend with the righteousness that God has called us to. When we posture ourselves in humility and decide that we want to shift our dependency from ourselves to God, then we will be able to receive and fully experience the power of His grace.
What is your honest request? Is it, help me to not feel bad about this thing that I’m doing? Or is it, help me to do the things that are pleasing to you, God. Knowing the difference will determine your ability to accept His grace and live and create, by His power, on purpose.
With this blog, my desire is to encourage, equip and empower you to live and create on purpose. If you’d like to connect or want prayer, email me; I’d love to hear from you!