Wednesday, June 27, 2012

grace upon grace

I think some things are ironically beautiful.  Spiderwebs (despite my aversion to their creators), pine needles, oranges, and this image in my head as I read my Bread: a stack of pancakes.

Fluffy and steaming. Even layers of risen batter. Enough for the family and even left-overs. Soft and creamy, just waiting for butter and syrup, or even a spread of jam.  Simply gorgeous.

Grace upon grace.  One gracious blessing after another.  And isn't my life a beautiful stack of pancakes?

I count blessings and even number them.  Today my journal says #1062 and I am still very amazed at the joy that comes in thanksgiving.  Here are a few recently-counted graces:

- the way You prune me and conform me to the likeness of Your Son, a process that will continue my whole life
- reading new blogs
- an early, quiet morning alone with You
- face-to-face conversation with C last night
- a big hug from T and the way he picks me up in it
- R's little laugh
- five young friends playing together for hours, and zero fights
- firefighters rallying together to put out blazes
- pink rose petals on the counter and another reminder of the tender, extravagant way You, Daddy, love me
- lives saved from the flames, though homes are sadly lost
-  "The life of the godly is not a straight line to glory; it's more like a dark and seemingly unknown trail through the mountains." -John Piper 
- updates from a husband whose wife recovers from malignant surgery, and his hopeful prayers for his sleep and her bowels 
- my mother-in-law who balks not at cleaning my son's vomit off the carpet with me
- air conditioning on a record-high day full of smoke in the air and on the clouds

Pancakes stacked high on my plate, and, Oh, Lord - thank you.  I am undeserving. Humbled that you would give to me again.  

"From His fullness we have all received, grace upon grace." -John 1:16 (ESV)

Jesus stretched out His arms on the Cross to buy me back from sin and death forever.  That alone was more than enough.  But the Father, who did not spare even His own Son, does indeed graciously give me so many more things. (from Rom. 8:32) 

And the only response I can find that is remotely appropriate: giving thanks.

Thank You, Father, for grace upon grace, stacked high on my life from Your abundance.  Forgive me for the times I fail to see how much you give me.  Forgive me for being an ingrate. Rescue me again from that hard heart.  Today I surrender in openness of heart, eyes, and hands.  I'm ready for whatever grace you give, be it refining, blessing, or hurdle-turned-opportunity.  My hands are reaching for that which you have for me today.  Your fresh mercy the very first grace this morning, and your protective Hand of peace the last tonight.  I am wholly Yours.  Thank You that I can call You mine.

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