The Grace-Giver Gives and Gives and Gives Again

“He giveth and giveth and giveth again.”

Words I still hear in my mind from a cassette tape many years ago. Darlene Rose, a missionary in Papua New Guinea during and after WWII, suffered in a Japanese prison camp for four years and lived to testify of the power of God’s grace. Through torture, death threats, and her husband’s death in another prison, Darlene continued to place all her hope in Jesus. He was the Grace-Giver she constantly cried out to. And He repeatedly reminded her that His grace is sufficient. Not was. Not will be. But IS.

Through all our troubles in life, whatever they may be, we need and have the same Grace-Giver. When we’re sinking in the midst of troubles and losses, we can’t always see God in them. But often in hindsight, we can see He gives and gives and gives again. Far above what we ask or think, His limitless grace sustains us and makes it possible for us to survive.

A couple of weeks ago, triggered emotions of pain and betrayal ran deep and threatened to drown me.

I longed to walk in God’s creation, a place of rest God has often used to comfort me and remind me He is Almighty and still in control, but the air was too cold for me. Then God gave us a warmer day and I headed to one of my favorite areas on the bike trail.

As I walked, I asked God for a deer, but I quickly withdrew my request – “I’m so sorry, God, if I’m being unthankful. You already showed me a butterfly. Thank You!”

Several steps further, my heart stilled in awe. A deer! Thank You, Lord!

Jets thundered overhead, and she gracefully leaped over the brush into the safety of the woods nearby.

My heart, too, was longing for refuge from the thunder of my emotions. Oh, how I ached to leap into God’s arms.

I headed over the bridge and sat down on a bench and begged God to bring truth to light and to take my fear away. This heart-wrenching fear for victims of abuse.

“I am the Truth… I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life,” He whispered. He assured me that if I open my heart to be filled by Him who is Truth, I need not fear what happens. I just need to listen for the voice of Truth Himself who has the power to reach every single person in this world.

The lyrics of a song by Casting Crowns began to play in my heart and continued often through the coming days:

But the voice of truth tells me a different story
And the voice of truth says, “Do not be afraid!”
And the voice of truth says, “This is for My glory…”

Victims all over this world are silenced and not believed, afraid and devastated beyond what many can ever understand. But God who is Truth Himself remains and knows what’s true. He cares and understands us more than anyone ever will. He sees every single tear that falls, and He cries with us.

His unlimited grace pours out to hurting souls. This moment. Right now. No matter what we have lost. No matter how dark and lonely we feel. No matter what anyone thinks or says of us.

We may not always feel like His grace reaches us, but often in hindsight we see His steps of grace all along the way. Lighting our way in the dark, carrying us when we are too weak to walk on, and breathing hope into us when we feel like giving up.

Yes, the Grace-Giver gives and gives and gives again. He invites us to tap into His powerful love that heals us. And even when we waver and doubt, He still keeps giving us His strength to keep going. His grace IS sufficient. Not was. Not will be. But IS.

“But He said to me,
‘My grace is sufficient for you,
for My power is made perfect in weakness.'”
2 Corinthians 12:9
“Jesus answered,
‘I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through Me.'”
John 14:6
“Then you will know the truth,
and the truth will set you free.”
John 8:32

“Voice of Truth”
by Casting Crowns

Truths For When Life Doesn’t Make Sense

I didn’t get a post written last week as my emotions felt too raw and needed some processing.

Yesterday I came across an old post. Within it were some truths that encouraged my heart. I’m sharing them again with you, praying they will give you hope through whatever storm of life you are in.

God is God. We are not. We don’t need to make sense out of everything. Someday we will fully understand the bigger picture of all this.

Jesus replied, “You don’t understand now
what I am doing, but someday you will.”
John 13:7 NLT

The events and circumstances that perplex us can lead us into a deeper faith in God. They help us to rely more heavily on God and His promises. They refine us to be more like Jesus.

“But He knows the way that I take
[and He pays attention to it].
When He has tried me, I will come forth
as [refined] gold [pure and luminous].
Job 23:10 AMP

Bad things happen when people who are given choices choose evil. That doesn’t mean God doesn’t love us or doesn’t care. No evil will separate us from His love.

“No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory
is ours through Christ, who loved us.
And I am convinced that nothing
can ever separate us from God’s love.
Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,
neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—
not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.
No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed,
nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from
the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 8:37-39

God has the power to protect us from evil, but sometimes He chooses to allow us to break, so we can be led deeper into the brokenness He suffered for us. The more we connect with His brokenness, the more He can use our brokenness to help others who are broken.

“As for you, you meant evil against me,
but God meant it for good,
to bring it about that many people
should be kept alive, as they are today.”
Genesis 50:20

No matter what happens, God’s plans and thoughts are for our good, not for evil. He gives us a future and a hope in Him.

“For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’
says the Lord, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not
for disaster to give you a future and a hope.”
Jeremiah 29:11 AMP

 The sufferings we go through here are nothing compared to the glory hereafter.

“For I consider [from the standpoint of faith]
that the sufferings of the present life
are not worthy to be compared with the glory
that is about to be revealed to us and in us!”
Romans 8:18 AMP

“Look Up Child”
by Lauren Daigle

“Where are You now
When darkness seems to win
Where are You now
When the world is crumbling…”

The Good Shepherd Cares About His Sheep

“The Lord Is My Good Shepherd”
Bernhard Plockhorst – 1825 -1907 (Public Domain)

Darkness crept in like a thief. Too late. Now they didn’t know how to get home. A staccato of fear pounded in their hearts as they huddled together. Exposed. To whatever and whoever may want to harm them.

Many years ago when we still had children at home, we raised sheep, and one night they didn’t return to our lighted yard before darkness fell. They never stayed out in the darkness, so I walked out to the front fence line of our pasture. There they were huddled together like one dark blot about halfway back in the pasture, desperately bleating, “Baaaaahhhh!”

“Here sheep! Here sheep! Here sheep!” I called. They calmed down and began to move in my direction. When I stopped calling, they stopped, so I kept calling until they found the lighted pathway back to home.

Isn’t that how life can go sometimes? We can be contentedly munching on the blessings. We don’t see the lengthening shadows of what lies ahead. And unexpectedly, losses of one kind or another blindside us and plunge us into darkness. We panic and flail because we can’t seem to find our way to the light. Fear abounds and we don’t feel safe anymore. We try to pull up the storehouse of God’s Promises we hold in our hearts, but we can’t focus. The darkness deprives us of discernment, despondency deadens us, and dread debilitates us. Which way is home?

The sheep cried, and we, too, can cry. Their protector heard them, and our Protector will always hear us. He hears the weakest cry and can see through the thickest darkness.

When the sheep heard my voice, they recognized me as one who cared. They couldn’t see me, but they trusted I would lead them to safety. Do we know Jesus’ voice? Do we realize how much He cares? So much that He even gave up His life for us? Do we trust Him to guide us home?

“My sheep listen to My voice;
I know them,
and they follow Me.”

John 10:27
“I am the Good Shepherd, and I know [without any doubt
those who are] My own and My own know Me
[and have a deep, personal relationship with Me]—”
John 10:14 AMP

The sheep got confused when they couldn’t hear my voice above their noise, so they sometimes had to be quiet. Likewise, when we’re crying out of the pain of darkness, we may sometimes have to be still and listen, to tune in our ears to our Master’s voice. Do you hear it now? Jesus stretches forth His scarred hands and pleads, “Come, come, come… Come, My sheep. Come unto Me, all you who are weary. I will give you rest. Come to Me, you who are in darkness. I will give you light. In Me is safety. I am your HOME.”

“Come to Me,
all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest.”
Matthew 11:28
Jesus spoke to the people once more and said,
“I am the light of the world. If you follow Me,
you won’t have to walk in darkness,
because you will have the light that leads to life.”
John 8:12

Do you feel the most at home at Jesus’ feet? When darkness overtakes you, do you cry out? The Good Shepherd hears your every bleat of pain. Can you hear Him calling you? Do you hear the love and longing in His voice? Follow His voice. He can lead you back to the light. He can lead you back home.

I kept asking God what I should write for this week’s post, and I kept feeling the nudge to repost this post from three years ago. I don’t know why, but I’ll leave that to Him. I pray He will wrap you in His Shepherd’s arms of love and tender care!

Thank You, Good Shepherd,
for Your tender love and care!
Please help us to hear Your voice
and lead us to Your light!

“Shepherd of My Soul”