I’m sitting on the swing in the front yard this evening as the sky dims blue-slate-violet. A woodpecker has found itself a temptingly hollow log, and I can hear him rat-tat-tatting his way through his evening pursuit. Goats are moseying down the hillside back to their evening pen. A couple cows moo in the distance.
This is grace for me. Why?
My wife and I just moved into a small house on her parents’ farm. Jerusalem Ridge Farms is a place where God’s grace has abounded to Ray and Stephenia, which you can see by checking out the link above. I’ve just finished The Divine Conspiracy and The Spirit of the Disciplines by Dallas Willard. Some lost and struggling people I work with have come to me this week seeking answers, ideas, help for their lives.
Six months ago, I could not have answered them. Not with anything but a hug, maybe an encouraging word, and a promise to pray for them. Now, I have answers. I have ideas. I have concrete things in the Gospels to which I can lead them and say, “This is who I’m following” and, more importantly, “this is how I’m following Him, and this is how you can start following Him, too.”
God has given me a small, grace-enriched spiritual hub at Myrtle Avenue.
God has given me a wife who understands and loves me, even at my lowest points.
God has given me a retreat, a place abounding in His blessings, where I can reach for Him.
God has given me a calling that I cannot ignore.
Can you see now why this is grace to me? The confluence of God’s work that began long before I came on the scene, and will continue long after I’ve passed from this place.
God has good plans for the future of creation. Willard writes, ” ‘The kingdom of heaven is now available, turn in to it!’ (Matt 3:2, 4:17). Now all humankind is invited to live in a family, made possible by Our Father in heaven, whom we address in prayer. When the gospel of this family kingdom has been adequately presented in the lives of Christ’s people, the end of human history as we are familiar with it will occur (Matt 24:14), for humankind will fall under the effectual leadership of those who stand in the Kingdom and upon the earth as judges (1 Cor 6:2).”
God, please let me face this challenge as your man. Give me the courage to stand, and the grace to speak love and truth together.
in HIS love,