Tuesday, April 19, 2011

God's Grace

My friend Heather and I just finished reading "One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are" by Ann Voskamp.  There are so many things in this book that I would love to share with everyone. I highly recommend that EVERYONE read it. Which makes me think of Jon Acuff's blog post Not Knowing how to tell someone their favorite book didn't completely change your life too. and I hesitate to make such a statement because you could read it and hate it. LOL

That said, the book's message is weighing heavy on my heart right now.  We have had a rough weekend here in Gloucester.  This tornado took our community by surprise.  We don't have tornadoes here. We have hurricanes.  We are used to those.  They come with days of warning, evacuation orders, and time to prepare.  We have storms but nothing like what was here this weekend.   There was property lost, dreams lost, and more than that there were lives lost. 

There were also many close calls.  Our pastor's wife was sitting in a chair moments before it was demolished by debris from the house next door.  Some friends of ours huddled in another friends bathroom while the storm destroyed the house next door to them.  I am pretty sure my friend Melissa's house is the only house left standing on her road.  So I guess my question is why? Why was our house spared? Why Melissa's neighbors but not Melissa?  It seems so random. But if what I say I believe is true then God is in control and it isn't random at all. Okay but that doesn't seem to make sense either.

This is something Ann Voskamp talks about in her book.  Having faith when things aren't good.  Seeing God's grace when things are falling apart around you.  It is hard. She tells of a time when her son was injured in a farm accident.  While it was bad it wasn't as bad as it could be. 

 From the book:

As her son, Levi, comes home, he holds up his bandaged hand and Ann says, “But hey—he has a hand.” ...  “God’s grace.” her mother whispers. "God's grace".  She pats my shoulder and I feel her relief…and something dark…angry…ugly.  And a slippery question serpentines up me, nearly shakes my tongue with its words but I refuse it.  But the words still come quiet, hard and black, squeezing me tight.  And if his hand had been right sheered off?  What of God’s grace then?  Can I ask that question?

Being thankful. In this book she calls it "eucharisteo". Eucharisteo is drawn from Luke 22:19, And He took bread, gave thanks [eucharisteo] and broke it and gave it to them.” Eucharisteo, in the Greek language in which the New Testament was written, means “thanks.”  “Charis,” at the root of the word, means “grace,” and “charo” means “joy.”  Giving thanks. We talk about being thankful. But how are you thankful in the face of tragedy.  Ann Voskamp calls it "The hard eucharisteo" giving thanks to God when you are faced with trials.  When cancer comes. When car crashes come. When divorce comes. When abuse comes. When tornadoes come.

So  "What if my house or family weren't spared? What of God's grace then? Can I ask that question?


1 comment:

  1. I've been asking the same question over and over. Why is my house standing and someone else's destroyed. Why are my children healthy and little Kimberly is fighting for her life? I'm not sure there are answers.