I have a tendency to forget the simple everyday things. You know the little pieces of the day that fill up the day…the ones that seem insignificant..but they aren’t , really. Because though our experiences don’t define us they do build us and they do refine us. And many times they are the platform we are given in this life to share with others.
And the sharing with others part is what I have been thinking about, especially as I think about what it means to collect the #gracemoments of our faith journey.
Over the last few weeks I have been watching friends walk through trials and difficulties that would stop my world from spinning for a while. I have witnessed selfless service, unconditional love, gentle encouragement, and prayers that break through strongholds.
This place where we still have to deal with REAL LIFE stuff while we are recovering from the catastrophic crisis that seems to find its way to our door one way or another also shows the side of people who look a a lot like Jesus working right in the midst of the messy everyday reorganizing that comes when chaos descends in our lives.
And the reality is that we have all been through something.
We all have a hurt that has crippled us on the journey, sometimes even handicapping us as we go.
And if we haven’t, there is a good chance that at some point in our life we well.
That’s life, right?
But what amazes me….what touches me soul-deep … is the way faith carries us in our breaking, how grace makes a way for us in the hurting…always, and why love wins in spite of every loss.
In the midst of the busy of life, last week, I had some heavy meetings, some difficult news, and some overwhelming reminders that all is not always well and perhaps not always going to be ok.
How is it that we can reconcile grace and good with glory when things just are not ok? I mean death and cancer and loss of dreams are not ok. I can’t make myself agree that it is all going to be ok, because people are involved and lives are changed and sometimes it just isn’t.
But somehow when the trials come, when the less than good happens, God can still bring beautiful in the midst of it. He can redeem and restore and reconcile because He is faithful and full of grace and glory and is the very source of healing love.
Listening to the radio the other day, a voice familiar to the station was being replayed between the songs. I’d heard this message more than once, different parts played back over time. I’d heard it before, but this time a sentence hung heavy over my heart. ” Hurting people hurt people; and healed people heal people.”
It’s been playing back in the echo of my memories nearly every single day. I’ve been wondering how I can reconcile this truth in the midst of my moments, in the pursuit to count grace on the journey.
When the hurt are the healed it changes the outcome…
It struck me that we are all walking around with a pain or a hurt that is or has at one time been prominent in our life. We are all walking around with a past of imperfection and a collection of moments that we may wish we could forget. We are all the walking-wounded, healing from the pain of yesterday or the unmet hope of what never was. We are all wearing scars from living life.
It is undeniably clear that hurting people hurt people. But what should also be alarmingly understood is that those who have Christ in them are walking around with the very same power that raised Jesus from the dead. We are the healed that have a the opportunity to invest His holy hope in others. We are the very same souls that carry a message so providentially paradoxical in our being that our words have the potential to beget life.
And if the Spirit of Him Who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, then He Who raised up Christ Jesus from the dead will also restore to life your mortal bodies through His Spirit Who dwells in you. – Romans 8:11
Death and life are in the power of the tongue… Proverbs 18:21
You are our epistle,(His letter), written in your heart to be known and read by everybody. You show and make obvious that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, not written with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. – 2 Corinthians 3:2-3
Life begets life as we speak truth into others.
I often tell my people inoperable words should not proceed from our mouths. Instead, we ought to spill out the good things from the storehouse of His goodness planted in our hearts. (Mt 12:35-36) That what we say should line up, all those thoughts and uttered syllables, with the living Word of God. We should be a planting people, sowing mustard seeds of holy healing into the living beating hearts of the hurting and the broken and bleeding, moving mountains that consume grace on our path. (Is 28:10,Mt 17:20)
Truly,…,if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.- Matthew 17:20
Jesus reminded us of the way to pick up the broken and the bruised in many ways. He taught in parables and modeled in his miracles the way to bring the glory that was given to the only begotten right into the space of entropy the first Adam set in motion.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.- Ephesians 2:19
And as the walking healed, we who know and are known by God need to spill healing into the mission field we have been planted in. It is the healed that heal others. Maybe not in the miracles, signs and wonders that Jesus demonstrated while He walked the crusted paths before Him, but perhaps the hope we speak and the love we pour over broken souls is the grace that will start the healing which could save another.
Our bodies are dying. That will not change, but our souls will have eternity encoded in them. What if we chose to spill the healing that only comes from the love of God poured lavishly upon a soul?
Life begets life.
People get free.
When we are willing to share our story, we provide the avenue for healing to start.
That story I mentioned last week, which involves the journey we have taken with our girl. I have held the words in for years. I haven’t been ready to revisit the pain and the weight that they left on our hearts.
To be honest, I don’t remember a lot of it… because we did what we had to do at the moment and it really wasn’t anything special. We were parents to a child who was often sick and we spent a lot of time between doctors and hospitals and prayer. There were a lot of sleepless nights and begging God to heal her and to spare us from the inevitable.
I do remember spending hours speaking His Word in prayer over her, pouring truth around her as we also poured pharmaceuticals into her. We researched options and answers alongside our doctors and we diligently followed every suggestion. But it wasn’t always enough. Some things weren’t always ok. And some days were really really hard.
But He met us. And He healed her in many ways. And though it didn’t always look like what we hoped, it was always exactly within His grace. And if we had not traversed this road of hardship with her, I am not sure we would have come to know Him like we do. If we had not found the floor our soul broken and littered with the weight of the cross He has allowed us to carry, we would not have been able to see His handiwork elegantly displayed in our lives like we have.
“Hard times are a passport that gives you permission to go places you wouldn’t get to any other way.” -Levi Lusko, 59 Seconds of Hope
So when He opens the door we need to step through it.
Lately God has been bringing people into my path to remind me of where we have come from, it is becoming clearer to me that ‘the healed in God’ need to be the ones who lead others to healing.
Our pain can be an instrument of His grace leading others into the healing their souls require, one that only His presence in their life can provide.
So when I had the chance to pour into a young momma, recently, one whose heart was breaking in a way my own had known, I was reminded of that list of scriptures I used to speak over my girl. I recognized the open door for what it was. I could see the chance He was giving me to bring healing from my hurt and to let His glory be the grace mark upon our conversation.
I found those scriptures today, the ones I spoke over my girl, hand-written and creased with time and use. My kids don’t remember sitting on the living room floor being read God’s Word over and over again. But I as I read them again, the familiar cadence came back to me. Each word a living seed planted in my heart as well as theirs.
It was life to me then… it still is today.
So shall My Word be that goes for out of my mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11
I’ll be honest, sharing our story is not easy. Remembering the hard days is still a little painful, only dimmed by the revelation that God has always been faithful to us. He is faithful to bring out good in our lives, for His glory and for the blessing of others. He leads the hurting into healing in order to lead others into the same. In His upside down kingdom, He helps us to move the mountains of hurt into oceans of healing.
Where are you finding #gracemoments as you share the story of healing He has brought into your lives?
The Heart of the Woman Series is a Bible Study for each and every one of us. Join me in March as I revisit this chapter of Isaiah once a week on Saturday morning here and feel free to join me to discuss what we are reading through the week, along with a schedule at the Table of Grace FB Group.
IT’S YOUR TURN TO BE A GRACE COUNTER! SHARE YOUR GRACE MOMENT IN THE COMMENTS BELOW AND THEN COUNT GRACE WITH A FRIEND WITH COMMENT ON A BLOG OR TWO.
If you are a blogger, link up here with a post about finding grace moments in your life or one of your favorite inspiring and encouraging posts from this week. Share your thoughts in the comment section telling me about the #Grace Moments you experienced this week. *(only 1 post per link please)*
Take time to visit your neighbor next to you, and if you want visit a few more friends on the journey. We all need a little encouragement and affirmation as we travel together.
If you don’t have a blog, you can connect with me via my Journeys in Grace FB page by sharing a photo or a comment. Or you can join the party by sharing your images on Instagram with #Gracemoments hashtag.
Each week I will try visit as many of your amazing posts as I can.This is a safe place to sit and dwell in grace together, friends. I can’t wait to pour a cup of friendship with you and take in the grace moments you have to share. Don’t forget to leave a comment below, I love to hear from you.