For of his fullness we all received, and grace upon grace – John 1:16.
He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. – Colossians 1:17.
Recently these two verses have taken on new significance for me. To be frank, 2018 in many ways, has been a hard year for my community of friends. We have experienced some pretty severe loss and it’s been tough. But amid all this loss I have had the opportunity to take a step back and look at all the really wonderful gifts in my life: an awesome wife and daughter who are huge sources of joy, a job that I love, great friends and more than anything, a God who really loves me – even at my worst.
But, this isn’t necessarily about counting your blessings. Something I have noticed about myself, I think in response to the loss we have seen recently, is that when I reflect on these things, sometimes I tend to focus more on what I can do to hold on to these things rather than focusing on just how gracious the Lord has been to me in my life. In my honest moments I notice that tendency. And that’s when it hits me: perspective.
If I am being real with myself I must conclude, as Brennan Manning so eloquently said, all is grace. If I try to convince myself or the world that anything I have is of my own doing – I am a fraud. I have done nothing to merit the Lord’s goodness and ultimately, I possess none of what He allows me to play in a role in to begin with. I am learning:
- My family is not my own: It’s God’s.
- My career is not mine to advance: It’s the Lord’s.
- My ministry is not mine to grow: It belongs to Him.
And this is wonderful news. God is the source of all that is good. In fact, all that is good is HIS. We only get to steward these wonderful gifts. And we should strive to steward them well. But, He maintains them – and He grows them. I am leaning into the fact that it is more grace that holds our world upright than it is physics. And that makes me revel in His wonderous grace all the more. I hope it does you too.