God’s Grace

As one endeavours to walk with God, in this life that we have been given, the grace that God so often extends to us becomes more and more apparent. Coupled with that awareness of His grace, is the awareness of our need for God to sustain us, especially as one gets older and so many of the things that one tends to take for granted, seem to slowly dissipate. It is a humbling experience, and yet it is much more than that. God’s grace is almost like a cloak that slowly opens and one begins to comprehend the magnitude of His provision, from our first steps towards Him, to where we are now and where, eventually, we shall be.

I was recently looking through some Christian related books that I bought and had read many many years ago and I ran into a note that I had entered into one of them, that caught me by surprise. There was arrogance in my written comments and the appearance of knowledge that I assumed I had, but in actuality I did not possess. Sometimes I marvel how God even puts up with me, but praise God, He does. 

The written note was written when I assumed that it was I that was in full control. And yes, my story goes downhill directly from there. I shudder to think of how ill informed my mind was and how hard my heart was at that time. The journey we walk is long for some of us, and although not always apparent, God’s purposes do unfold and His wisdom and patience with us, clears our vision, as time marches on.

Helplessness is not something that most of us take solace in, but there is untapped strength in God, in this awareness. The Apostle Paul makes mention of this reality in 2 Corinthians 12:9 which reads: “And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.” Recognizing our weaknesses is not something to be ashamed of, it is in actuality, the beginning of the fulfillment of our strength, that is found in Jesus.

My wife has dementia and is also scheduled for a hip replacement due to advanced arthritis. Dementia affects her memory and arthritis her mobility. Both can be crippling. And I love her with all of my heart. These last few months caring for her and attempting to address her needs, has glaringly brought me to an enhanced awareness of my own inadequacies. Physically, mentally and especially from within my heart. Yet, day by day, I continue to be amazed at the sufficiency of our God. I cannot begin to convey how God’s love overcomes my inadequacies.

God has enhanced my love for Him and my wife, at the same time. Although my patience is not always perfect, it far exceeds my usual norm. God helps me see what is important and sustains both of us on a daily basis. He instills in me the need to focus on today, and to trust in Him, and I do. Many tears have been shed in prayer because this cuts to the very core of our being. It makes us come face to face with our own inabilities, and opens the door to God’s unwarranted grace. Jesus personified His dependency in His Father, while He walked in our flesh. One sees this literally everywhere, if you start to look for it, via the words that Jesus spoke or the things that Jesus did (John 5:30). Both divine and human at the same time, Jesus showed us of His own trust in the Father, and the desire at all costs, to fulfill the Father’s will. In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus sweated blood (Luke 22:44). Jesus knows full well, our limitations.

And what is equally amazing is the grace that God extends to my wife. To see this unfold is the hardest thing we have ever encountered, but it also is the most beautiful. How does one even begin to explain how that happens, but it does. Don’t get me wrong, even though God’s provision is beautiful, it tears at the heart. I don’t think about tomorrow, I just focus on today and trust that our tomorrows will conclude according to God’s love and purposes, to His glory. God’s grace, sheer grace. There is no other word that comes even close to His sufficiency.

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!

21 comments

  1. This is beautiful, Bruce. My husband is scheduled to have another MRI scan of his brain soon, due to a headache that won’t stop, and some worrying blood test results. I saw my doctor last week, and she wants me to have an MRI scan of my brain, because I had a possible seizure recently. I have never had a seizure before.

    I am so thankful that the Lord is my Shepherd!!!

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  2. Thank you for sharing your journey of grace. Most if us who have been Christians for so long also shudder when we look back over a few of our youthful ignorant boasts. It is hard to imagine the enormity of God’s love that has carried us through so many of our failures forgiven so many sins and still grows deeper every day. May you and your wife be blessed with extra grace as you go through this upcoming surgery and rehab.

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  3. Bruce, my heart goes out to you and your wife. I don’t know if it will be any help, but four years ago one of my very first blog posts was about how the Lord gave me perspective on Alzheimer’s when dealing with my father’s struggle and my own impatience. (I’m guessing you’re more patient than I was.) Anyway, for what it’s worth, here it is:
    http://seekingdivineperspective.com/2018/08/10/perspective-on-alzheimers/

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    • Thanks, Annie. Peggy and I are both very open with each other about what is happening and although normally this would have ordinarily been a source of irritation in the past to me, it hasn’t and doesn’t most times do that now, which is part of the blessing God has provided. It’s hard to put into words but it just seems to make me love her more. Sometimes I am amazed at the words that God puts in my mouth, that I oftentimes say, without even thinking. Tonight, after asking me the same thing for about the fourth time in fifteen minutes, I responded that “I love the sound of your voice”. I have no idea where that came from, but those are the words that I spoke. We’re both going through uncharted waters but my wife knows that she is not alone and I know that I am not alone. Each day I try my hardest to give her a good day and most days they are. The complexity of this is staggering, emotions rise to the surface at the drop of a hat, yet in spite of this, God’s grace prevails. It’s hard to put into words. It’s like circuits in her mind just break, one moment they are there, the next they are gone and I get to see them breaking and so does she. Today, we were talking and I expressed to her how I have tried to put myself in her shoes. It would be frightening and disarming to go through this and I assured her of my love and that I would be there with her and for her, no matter what. My voice quaked and I tapped my fingers because I had a hard time actually saying the words. Peg told me that when I tap my fingers, she knows that I mean it and she assured me that she knows. I haven’t got a clue how I will deal with the tomorrows and I know in the back of my mind that they will come, but I can’t focus on them. I focus on today and God’s grace is sufficient. Off ramps abound to make me lose my focus, even my dreams as of late, have been attacked. But I know from where they come and I know who is our shepherd. Four days ago I had a kidney stone flare up, I could barely walk, but God sustained me through that day, I was still able to do what needed to be done for Peg (mobility issues and patience) and it was gone the next day. I cried out to God in earnest that day and God heard my prayer, not only does He sustain but He also delivers. I am at His mercy and He is merciful. That’s all I know. And if God can help me love her more, which He does, I know from where the source of that love is and His love includes me. I don’t need to understand it, I just know to know that it is. I read the post you linked. That was God’s grace to you, tailored to you and your Dad’s needs and it is precious. The variance isn’t important, the source is. Thank you for doing that Annie. Please keep us in your prayers as I keep you and yours in mine. Blessings!

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      • You’re right, Annie, I couldn’t have said it any better myself. And those moments are just enough (key words), to keep it together and I attribute those moments to God’s sheer grace, totally of Him. Blessings!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful post Bruce. Thankyou for sharing your story of grace at work, God is so good. His grace is like the very air we breathe, each day sustaining us as we trust Him. Blessings to you and your wife. 🙏

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