Monday, June 10, 2013

The Grace of God in Everyday Life

This is my lawn. I live on an acre of land. It's great. We love all the space. God has truly blessed us here. But unfortunately I have a problem ... I have only a 22" push mower to keep my lawn trimmed. Yes, you read that correctly: a 22 inch(!) push(!!) mower with an acre of grass.

My lawn mower saga is long and complex and I don't have time to cover it here. The long and the short of it is that I currently have a 22" push mower with which to mow my lawn. (But thankfully that should be changing soon.) Most of the time I keep up with things pretty well, putting in a couple of hours here and a couple of hours there. But last week I was on a trip so my lawn hadn't been mowed since Memorial Day and it looked horrible. It was completely stressing me out and I was hoping to have a good chunk of time to devote to it tonight. I was going to get off work early, put in a few solid hours and make some great progress.

But then I couldn't leave work early. In fact I left later than expected. And then one of my daughters decided to take an hour and half to eat her dinner. And there were other pressures in the evening that I did not react well to and eventually I got completely frustrated and angry at the whole situation. I'm sorry to say that I was living proof tonight that "the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God" (James 1:20).

After confessing my sin to the Lord and apologizing to my daughter, I felt a little more peace but was still discouraged at the situation. What was I going to do about this lawn? I should have trusted God, but mostly I just felt like it was all up to me. There was no way to finish it all tonight so I would just get as much done as I could. But I had forgotten that God sometimes puts us in impossible situations so that He can deliver us out of them in a powerful way. If you read the story of the Exodus, things got a whole lot worse before they got better. God did that on purpose so that His works would shine forth all the brighter. Little did I know that God was about to bless me tremendously.

I finally got to mowing and had been working at it for about 10 minutes when one of my neighbors drove across the street in his riding mower and said that he just couldn't watch me anymore and asked if he could help. I thanked him and said that would be great. So he started mowing the back yard while I continued to work on the front yard. 

The next thing I know, another neighbor whom I had never even met had driven his riding mower over and he joined the guy mowing the back yard! So now I had two riding mowers running in the back while I was pushing my ol' trusty 22" mower in the front. They worked for about an hour and a half, and together we got the entire property mowed. It was amazing.

I wish that this story put me in a better light. I wish that the story went: "I was up against this difficult situation, but I trusted God and He came through just like I knew he would." But unfortunately my faith was small tonight. Faith is something the Lord has been working on in my life. In fact it is something I have been praying for Him to help me with. Too often I am like Thomas, prone to doubt (John 20:24-29). And the truth is that I did not deserve God's help tonight. I was harsh with my family. I was frustrated and angry. 

But God give us grace and mercy each and every day (Lam. 3:22-23). And in His goodness, he blessed me tonight in spite of my sin. The truth is that He blesses me every day in spite of my sin. Some days it's just easier to see. Through His providence, He put me in a difficult situation tonight so that He could demonstrate His love for me in a tangible way.

To Him be the glory for the grace He gives us in our everyday life.