Grace.

The longer I live, the more I reIMG_3179alize that striving, by definition, is an obsolete practice within my faith in Christ. I, without question, am ‘failing’ on so many levels as a Christian. Do I read or pray or seek enough? No. Do I attend a church service regularly? No. Am I worshipping Him with all my heart, soul, mind and strength….ummmm… probably not. A lot of my strength is currently going toward survival. So, if you were going to ask me if I felt like I was pursuing the Lord well or living out my faith according to the measuring stick of Christiandom, the answer is, unequivocally, no.

But, my goodness; He is beyond mine and your, for that matter, standards. I have been left speechless this past week, astonished by the working hand of the Lord, who took my lack of pursuit of Him and laughed toward my corner of life’s boxing ring. I’m sitting here, thinking I ought to get in the fight, but truth-be-told, my gloves are off. I have other things to do, like make sure everyone in my house has food in their stomachs and doesn’t wreak of armpit cheese. I may squeeze a proverb in at the breakfast table or listen to a few cringe-worthy Christian ‘hits’ on the radio, but beyond that, I’m trusting, in this season of life, that Him in me is enough for Him and me.

With that said, I went with my family to another state to simply be with friends and family. I left the house, forgetting to pray about the purpose of the trip and probably praying for nothing other than the plea for no lost luggage. I made sure I had coffee and chocolate for our hosts and made sure that there was underwear enough for all the travelers. It was a lovely time living life with people we love and that is really all I had expected. But is He not great? Does He not have more? Yes. The answer is yes.

The brief synopsis of the hand of God: While at a park that does not exist on google maps, we ran in to a woman whom we ate lunch with two years ago, in a different state (neither ours or the one we were visiting). We had lunch with her those nearly 800 days ago, because we were pursuing the Lord and the wild and crazy life that we love living with Him. And sometimes that wild and crazy life is forgotten around our house when all is a whirlwind of sleep deprivation and saliva floods. In fact, we had, somewhat, forgotten about that lunch and all the many exhilarating interactions we had that trip. But He did not and He ensured that despite our greatest efforts, He would push the issue right up next to us in a park – in another state – that neither party met in previously – right. Striving can’t make that happen, but neither can my comatose like state.

He brings everything to me and everything that reignited and every domino that fell because of the park surprise can be credited to Him alone.

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.

He has not forgotten our hearts, our dreams, our sane version of ourselves. I could be in the ring despite my crazy, punching at the air, adding to the noise and troubles of the day. But I’ve been reminded this week, that it is a beautiful thing to Him when I’m sitting in the corner with my gloves off, because when I finally look up from the towel, I can really see Him shine.

Gloria in excelsis Deo.

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