Today I was seeking my way in a new year, finding my spiritual footing for 2016. The holiday activities are over, the world is returning to its regular routines. I was grumpy for no discernible reason. Our holidays were filled with moments that I will hold tight to my heart always, with people I love dearly. No holiday season is perfect and we had a moment that startled both my husband and I in its less than grateful or joyous nature. I’ve been turning it over in my head and my heart, trying to find a way to let it go. Last night, I prayed that God would share with me an answer. “Show me what to do with this so I am not dragging its remnants into this new year.”
Today, I was looking for an online daily devotion site, particularly looking for one with an evening devotion. There are many. I was looking for one that grabbed my attention and really made me think. The more I looked, the grumpier I got, because nothing was exactly what I wanted. It was a dressing room sensation when you’re shopping for clothes but nothing fits or looks like what you’re shopping for.
I did what I often do after a frustrating shopping trip. I went to my own closet. I have a favorite website for spirituality growth called Spirituality and Practice. Link to the website here. Each day they post a spiritual practice, reading, quote and teacher of the day. I still love this site, I was just looking for something in addition to it. There, in my own spiritual closet, was God, serving up my answered prayer.
Today’s quote was “The universe does not suffer from a shortage of grace. . . . Grace is abundant in God’s universe. — Matthew Fox in A New Reformation.
It made me ask what others thought grace was. I did what we all do, I Googled. The answers were plentiful.
“The very center and core of the whole Bible is the doctrine of the grace of God.” ~ J. Gresham Machen
“Grace is love that cares and stoops and rescues.” ~John Stott
“Grace is unconditional love toward a person who does not deserve it.” ~Paul Stahl
God provides us grace, despite our flawed nature. His grace does not come to us after we behave well. It just comes to us. He doesn’t take our moments of ingratitude or lack of joy personally. He has no expectations and delivers us heaps of grace anyway.
I find myself right back in my own closet, learning again what I have taught thousands of others – the meaning of QTIP – Quit Taking It Personally. Others lack of gratitude and joy is not about me. It is theirs. How can I hold onto to something that isn’t even mine?
Basking in the grace of God, who loves me despite my many flaws, I have released my expectations. I will put those whom I expected to display gratitude and joy in a tender hold of prayer and love.
I found the cure for my grumpies – a dose of grace.
Thank you, God, for speaking in ways we can hear and showing up in the most unlikely places. Amen.