"As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame; / [ . . . ] Each mortal thing does one thing and the same: / Deals out that being indoors each one dwells; / Selves -- goes itself; 'myself' it speaks and spells, / Crying 'What I do is me; for that I came'." --Gerard Manley Hopkins

09 December 2005

Grace for the Moment

I led a discussion group of a few gals this semester as part of one of the Bible classes here at the college, and we spent the last few weeks looking at what the Bible says about womanhood. In our last meeting, we looked through Proverbs 31 -- at the woman who always so intimidates me.

Usually I just feel remarkably lazy after reading the chapter. This time, however, something different struck me. Verse 25 says "she laughs at the time to come" -- the future holds no fear for her.

I am always finding ways to fear the future. One of my "projects" last summer was trying to live day by day. Oh, of course I did things for the future, but I tried not to live in the future. It's not the planning that's the problem; it's the trying to find strength for it when it isn't here yet.

Somewhere recently a woman posted this remark in a discussion on Down's syndrome and abortion: "I would certainly abort if I found out I had a Down's baby; I know what I can and can't handle, and I couldn't possibly handle that."

Leaving aside its sheer self-centeredness, the comment says volumes about her faith in God. And someone responded wisely, "You don't have any idea what you can or can't handle. God gives grace for every situation."

My own faith is generally as weak as that woman's. "I can't possibly do that," I so often say. And yet when "that" comes around, I do it. When we discovered that we would have to take overloads next semester, I kept thinking I can't possibly teach five classes, I'm exhausted already with only four. So I've spent a lot of this semester reminding myself of that wise response: "You have no idea what you can and can't handle." And I am claiming God's confidence that I will be able to do what He has given me to do.

God doesn't give grace for trials we aren't experiencing. Christ admonishes us, "Do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble" (Mt. 6:34 ESV).

And Paul prays for us "that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith . . ." (Eph. 3:16-17 ESV).

May I let Him continuously dwell in my heart so that I can always "laugh at the time to come," confident in His grace and mercy. I have had a taste of it; may I desire the peaceful fruit of faith every moment of every day.

1 comment:

GrumpyTeacher1 said...

I wish I didn't have to keep relearning that truth.