Friday, January 21, 2011

Life isn't Easy

    I tend to read a lot of fiction.  Some of my favorite authors are Dee Henderson, Brandilyn Collins, Susan May Warren, Colleen Coble and DiAnn Mills.  I don't watch TV, so I read for an hour here and there.  today was our second "snow day" and I finished Point of No Return by Susan May Warren. It's part of her Missions of Mercy Series, which include In Sheep's Clothing and Sands of Time. Warren has spent some time on the mission field in the countries she writes about in these suspense stories. 
    It's really encouraging when I read a fiction book that points me to Biblical truths.  Some I know, but need a reminder to jog my memory.  In Point of No Return, an aid worker and the man sent to rescue him are in a Georgian (the country, not the state) prison and the chances of their survival are not looking good.  During a conversation the aid worker shares his feelings about not being able to help more.  He chose to remain in Georgia in the midst of danger when his friends left.  During the course of the conversation, the young man shares with his rescuer about a friend from college that died from leukemia.  His friend didn't quit school despite his pain.  The young man shared his friend's response when asked why he didn't just give up:
"He told me that the closer he got to heaven, the more he wanted to lean into all God had for him here.  That it was in this harsh, earthly landscape that we understand the meaning of God's grace.  He said we don't see the depths and power of grace when life is easy.  It's only when things start to fall apart around us, when the road crumbles before us, that we turn to grace for every step."
   What a beautiful illustration of II Corinthians 12:9  " My grace is enough; it's all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness." (The Message) I was greatly encouraged by this. Although I've read the scripture many times before, I now had a fresh view.  In spite of the sorrow and pain that comes my way, I can still hang on to the grace that God always has for me. That reminds me of an acronym for grace we used in youth group: GRACE= God's Riches At Christ's Expense.  Growing in grace daily!

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