The mornings seem to come quickly lately. I find myself feeling like I went to bed only moments before I wake up. The rest that a full night’s sleep is meant to prepare us for seems lacking. And since I am not a morning person, prayer and grace and coffee are my ammunition and armor…not necessarily in that order. And sometimes, especially when I am tired I load up on one rather than the other and it leaves me even more depleted as I start the day.
How can our tank be empty if we keep filling it and filling it and filling it?
My grandmother, in her frank and insightful way, would tell me I am bearing the weight of the world not meant for me to carry. She would be right, as usual. But those tanks we are filling… the ones we keep pouring time and busy and broken into… they are empty because we aren’t being filled with the good and the true and the beautiful and the lovely.
To be honest, I evade confrontation as much as possible. And because I want to count those #gracemoments like the molecules of holy oxygen to be inhaled and exhaled purposefully, I find that I can easily let things simmer…unaddressed and untouched. And eventually that leads to less than graceful moments when the boiled pot runs over.
I was going to write about walking in love, speaking a language we all yearn to hear and know. But the more I settled into that space where fingers hover and words build, I realized that maybe today you are feeling a little like I am and need the reminder God graciously poured over my heart as I opened up His Word to wait and receive. His Word is always the wisdom that always brings peace in every situation.
Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say Rejoice.
Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your heart and minds through Christ Jesus.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Those things which you have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. – Philippians 4:4-9
The 3rd verse of this chapter Paul wrote to the Philippians caused me to go back and read it a few times over. In his appeal, Paul is reminding us to exhort and help those who are toiling together. In the amplified version it uses the word, ‘cooperate’, to further reveal his prayer for this body of believers. Paul was warning against the burden that toiling can produce, especially toiling together with people. We tend to get tired and miss the blessing of walking with one another easily when we fail to be filled by His Way. We forget to let true things, beautiful things, good things, praiseworthy things gather up like #gracemoments. Or at least, I know I can.
As His Word poured over my heart, I took part in an exchange. No longer can the weight of the world become my mantle, rather, it’s the grace that comes with His love and salvation… the act of cooperating with God leads us to peace. Praise and prayer lead us right into His presence and equip us to look for His work in our world instead of bear it as a burden.
When we choose to rejoice, cooperating with the Holy Spirit in the midst of our every day moments, we are collecting grace like a commodity of hope.
When truth, goodness, beauty, virtue, loveliness and honesty are the companions we keep, we lose the burdens that cover us in the journey and count the wonder of His presence in our midst.
When we pour out the everything that has encroached upon the door of our hearts daily in prayer and supplication and thanksgiving, peace is the always the result.
When we count grace as a habit, we look for the good, true and lovely in each of our journeys.
My mom and grandmother taught me early the beauty of choosing and counting grace by living Philippians 4:8 in real life right before me. What if we did that? What if we wore His Word like a lens over our eyes and chose to look for the good things instead of flaws?
Perhaps if we are so busy trying to find and remind people of the beauty we see in them, speak honestly in love and mercy, and pursue peace as a common thread in all things we’ll find that others see that also in us. And this common goal of gospel living, it really can be achieved cooperatively rather than comparatively.
I want to cooperate with God more than I want to carry the unnecessary weights that leave me exhausted and empty. I want to see through the lens of truth, goodness, and beauty and speak with peace as my language, always. Because pursuing His Way, choosing to filter the world with His Word, and letting prayer, praise, and peace prompt our conversations will always result in collecting grace on the journey.
As we move through this day, let us start with rejoicing and be strengthened in prayer. May His love help us to put on the lens of grace to filter our day. Let’s choose the good, true, beautiful, lovely, and virtuous things before us and fill up on His Word when we are emptied so that we can cooperate with God in our journey. Let peace rule our words and our thoughts, and His love fill us up so we are more than able to exhort others as we count each #gracemoment in our lives.
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.