Blue and I rounded the curve along our country road, pressing into the blustery breeze. Dark clouds hovered overhead as treetops swayed to the rhythm of the wind. Rain was coming.
Rain was coming, but I needed to walk. And think. And pray.
I pulled the collar of my jacket a little tighter and steered Blue onward. Sometimes a pilgrim just has to press in, keep one foot stepping in front of the other, and move forward. Even when it’s difficult. Even when the wind from an impending storm is smacking you in the face.
Even when you think you’re too weary to keep going.
The wind swooshed through the treetops and I heard God’s whisper, My grace is sufficient for you, Nan. When you are weak, I am strong. Accept the gift of my grace. Be strong IN my grace, not your own strength.
It wasn’t like I didn’t know this already. I love God’s grace and, recently more than ever, I have depended on it every single day just to survive a tsunami of tough emotions. But do I unknowingly step in and out of its availability because of attitude changes or change of focus? Maybe. Probably.
The Lord clearly exhorted me to be strong IN His grace (2 Timothy 2:1). That tells me He wants me to dwell there.
5 Blessed is the man whose strength is in You,
Whose heart is set on pilgrimage.
6 As they pass through the Valley of Baca [Weeping],
They make it a spring;
The rain also covers it with pools.
7 They go from strength to strength;
Each one appears before God in Zion (Psalm 84:5-7).
Father, forgive me for taking my eyes off You and for not being thankful in all things. Being thankful in all things is hard sometimes, especially if I’m walking in the flesh and not clinging to You. I’m sorry. I want to step back into the blanket of Your love and be wrapped in Your grace like a plush cocoon. I want to dwell there. I want to go from strength to strength because Your grace is sufficient. I want to be determined in the pilgrimage of my calling and journey with You. Steadfast and unswerving. I don’t want to be consumed by my weariness any longer, but to go forward in Your strength, even when the wind from the impending storm is smacking me in the face.
Blue and I came out from under the canopy of the pine grove just as the first raindrop fell. One by one, God’s diamonds of grace began to fall until there was a full-blown shower. Showers of blessing. Lessons in grace that falls like rain.
I stood still and raised my face toward heaven. I closed my eyes and pictured Jesus smiling at me as He splashed the refreshing rain all over my face and woke me from my doldrums.
And I began to laugh at the goodness of God.