4.22.2011

Are you sinking?

If grace is an ocean we’re all sinking…

The words to this song resonated with me when heard them last Sunday at church.  

If grace is an ocean and I am sinking in it, then I look at my life and ask…
am I dripping with grace for others around me? 
am I saturated with the love of God? 

Do I extend grace…unmerited favor… to those in my life who are most difficult to love?  

In my flesh, I am ashamed to say no…the people that inflict hurt and cause emotional pain in my life often lead me to feelings of resentment and bitterness. I try to put a wall between myself and them to insulate the pain that tries to creep in.   

And yet, how does Christ respond to my wandering…to my actions of hurt and pain?  He extends grace…not bitterness.  He tore the veil…He doesn’t build a wall.  He pursues me even in my sin. 

Grace (charis)…the greek term related to rejoice, favor, goodwill…loving kindness. 

God’s grace…unmerited favor made available to me through His son Jesus.  God’s all sufficient, overflowing grace poured out for me…a sinner so undeserving. 

If I really grasp the magnitude of God’s great love displayed on the cross, then my response to those who create pain and hurt will lead to grace and love. 

I am learning more about God’s grace and the depth of His love when I look at the way He has poured out His favor in Lily’s life.   

One of our prayers for Lily was that she would be able to play outdoors and enjoy the fresh air. 
As you can see…even in the poor conditions of her foster home (dirt floors and no electricity), it is evident that she was an outside girl who loved to play. 



When we found out Lily had a playmate in her foster home we immediately wanted to find a way for our friends to try and adopt him!  We found out he has been matched with a family and I recently spoke with his parents…they live only a couple hours away and he will be coming home soon!  ...only by the grace of God. 



We prayed that she would know what it was like to be loved.  
I am humbled by the fact that her foster parents, even in their poverty and older age, took in two special needs little angels.  Lily is an affectionate little girl who loves to give hugs and kisses. 


We prayed my grandmother’s verse over her every night when we were waiting to go get her…when you lie down may you not be afraid; when you lie down may your sleep be sweet. 
Lily is sleeping through the night and each day she falls asleep faster than the night before. (Nap times are a different story but we are still working on that J) 



We prayed that Lily would be true to her Chinese name... Yue (joyful, happy) Xin (new).
                This is the happy smile I get to wake up to every morning. 



My prayer is that Lily will have a beautiful voice to declare God’s love and truth
Lily’s palate will be repaired on May 10th…we wait with expectation to see what God will do in the days ahead after her surgery.



As I reflect on the power of the cross this Good Friday... I am humbled to be sinking in His grace.   

"For by grace we have been saved through faith.  And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God."  Ephesians 2:8

excerpt from the John Mark McMillian's song How He Loves
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0luHiWwi08

He is jealous for me
Loves like a hurricane
I am a tree bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy
When all of a sudden I am unaware of these
afflictions eclipsed by glory
And I realize just how beautiful you are
And how great your affections are for me.

Oh how he loves us so
Oh how he loves us
How he loves us so

We are his portion
And he is our prize
Drawn to redemption by the grace in his eyes
If grace is an ocean we're all sinking...



3 comments:

Beth and Ryan said...

So glad to see Lily is doing well! Maddox is having her palate surgery on May 10th as well. We will be praying for your family and Lily during the next few weeks! Take care.
Beth

Tiffany said...

I love this post, and we are so excited to know that the sweet little friend of hers has a family, and they will be going to get him. Thrilled that he will be so close to you, even if its not our home.
Tiffany

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