Counting Grace

 

When we feel the most incapable is when

we see God’s capability!

New Jobs
Newlyweds
First Time Parents

Parenting TEENAGERS

Empty Nesters

Parenting Adult Children

Newly Single

New School

New Budgets

New Ministry

New Church

New City

   Most of these roles collide with us some time or another as we weave in and out of seasons of our lives. Seasons of transition can be both joyous and beneficial. Often times they are answers to our prayers yet, the newness brings sandy footing at times. Change can also come like a thief in the night and alter all the normalcy we abide in. Either way the reality of stepping into the transition and moving along with it is not an option. Pressing on toward a new normalcy can cause doubt and anxiety.

   Focusing on God’s sovereignty and power is crucial when our lack of measuring up seems greater than the task at hand or when we just don’t like our new circumstances. God’s capabilities never change.  He is all knowing all powerful all the time.  He is our loving father and nothing catches him by surprise.

   I can remember bringing my first born home from the hospital and waking to every movement and mutter. I placed his bassinet at the foot of my bed to make sure I would hear him. Just to make double sure, I placed the baby monitor inside his bassinet. The reality became every tiny movement sounded like he was plummeting out of the bassinet. I found myself in a new awaited role yet, I felt completely inadequate to fulfill that role. Thankfully I can report he survived and so did I. A few nights later, I learned the baby monitor wasn’t needed while he was in the room with me. Looking back it seems so obvious, but at that present time it seemed required in order to be confident I could handle my tiny new bundle of joy.

   New seasons of life seems to jolt our bearings of normalcy and therefore feelings of inadequacy begin to mount. Transitions can be”overwhelming” and sometimes take months to adjust and feel confident. What are we to do during those moments, which seem more overwhelming than over “achieving”?

   Moses became a negotiator, transporter and communicator when God deemed him with bringing His people out of the hands of Pharaoh. Moses’ list of inadequacy far outweighed his confidence yet, God allowed him to be victorious. Throughout Exodus we witness conversations that seem all too familiar to us.

Lord’ I won’t know the words. Ex 4:1

I’ve never done this before. Ex 3:13

They are going to see I don’t know what I’m doing. Ex. 4:1

I know someone else who will do a better job.  Ex 4:10

What if I fail at this? Ex 4:10

   There are a number of ways to combat the thoughts and emotions that lead to overwhelming stress and fear.

   One is to RESERVE God’s presence in your life.

   I love the way Moses said to God ” If You don’t go with us, don’t let us leave. Moses switched his view from his own incapability to knowing the power of having God as his companion.  Exodus 33 records this powerful conversation for us:

14 And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

“My Presence will go 15 then he said to Him, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. 16 For how then will it be known that Your people and I have found grace in Your sight, except You go with us? So we shall be separate, Your people and I, from all the people who are upon the face of the earth.”

17 So the Lord said to Moses, “I will also do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name.”

    Piggy back seems to be the game my life transitions are playing.  One after the other before I can adjust my knowledge or understanding. As new life transitions approach,my lack of capabilities seem larger than life, especially at three in the morning, I have found myself asking God to go with me. My acknowledgment of wanting Him close to my side humbles my spirit and places my dependency on His shoulders and not mine.

    Sometimes I like to sound spiritual and ask Him to go before me. When really I want him to go into the future, reanalyze the situation, see if He wants to change His mind, and find someone that would do a better job. Many times I am reminded of all the reasons that person would do a good job, almost as if I’m writing them a reference letter. My view of His presence beside me brings a calmness and confidence that chases those doubts away.

Exodus continues with Moses asking God to show him His glory. 

18 And he said, “Please, show me Your glory.”

   Secondly we can adjust our mindset by RECALLING His grace.

19 Then He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” 20 But He said, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.” 21 And the Lord said, “Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock. 22 So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. 23 Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen.”

     It was in one of my wee hour moments that God told me to make a grace list. I began to recall all the situations that God had poured his grace over and blessed. My capabilities have nothing to do with the task ahead of me. While recalling my grace list, I can see God’s grace poured over my mustard seed size trust. It reassures me He is more than capable to handle whatever door I seem to be walking through. I don’t have to move down my list very far to find myself overwhelmed with gratitude and new found confidence that God can manage my list with His grace. Counting grace is far better than counting sheep.

    If you find yourself lacking for the transition handed to you, make sure you have RESERVED God’s presence. He will never leave us or forsake us but when we verbally acknowledge our dependency on Him it reinforces our faith.

   Next, RECALL His grace. Ask God to show you His glory and as His glory passes by, you will see grace that’s been poured over all areas of your life. Fight your fears and lack of confidence with His capabilities. Sometimes my grace list is in the form of a prayer to God, as I speak those grace blessing back to Him in thanksgiving, and other times they need to be on paper or index card stuck away in my purse or pocket so that I am reminded throughout my circumstances.

Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to the ministers of a new covenant,

2 Corinthians 3:4-6

Share with someone your grace list. 

You will be blessed and so will they!

 

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