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Space for Grace
by Brenda Emmons
03/21/12
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“Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders which you have done, and your thoughts toward us; there is none to compare with you. If I would declare and speak of them, they would be too numerous to count.” Psalm 40:5

‘…none to compare with you’ and yet we do. As I am becoming more aware of my thought patterns, I realize how self-defeating they can be. I compare everything God says about my life with what my thoughts say about my life. For every one thing the Bible tells me God says, it seems I have a lawyer’s brief for why I see it differently. He says I am an author, I say I got lucky on a book. He says I am freely loved, I ask ‘What is the next thing I have to do to keep His love?’ He says, ‘His delays in my present will be my success in the future,’ and I say ‘What have I done to mess things up?’ If I would only meditate and absorb the truth of God’s thoughts for me: ‘…thoughts of peace and not of evil…thoughts of hope…thoughts of my future.’ Jer. 29:11. If I could only completely believe that ‘His thoughts are higher (and better) than my thoughts and His ways (answers) are better than my ways.’ Isaiah 55:9.

Note that our psalmist suffers from the same futile comparisons. He states that IF he would declare and speak of the things that God has done with His perfect thoughts of us, there would be too many to count. How we count the ways of things gone wrong, plans we wish for, and a detour from the path for which we are presently traveling. We recite in our thoughts things that would be better, could be better and must be better discounting the course God wishes our life to take. It doesn’t matter how we plan our lives, God will determine the roads for which we will travel. ‘In my heart I plan my course, but you LORD will determine my steps.’ Prov. 16:9. All of the fret and worry in our present circumstances will rarely play out in our human thoughts as the way we want to go. ‘The LORD works out everything for his own ends.’ Prov. 16:4.

It is only by committing every thought, circumstance and agenda to God that we can experience success. ‘Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.’ Prov. 16:3. I remember my grandmother use to get on the floor and spread out all of her work. I can just picture her surrounded by mounds of work for which God has called her. She said that she would place her hands on the stacks and say, ‘Lord, I commit these to you for your perfect plan.’ Now that is true commitment and declaring instead of comparing. She constantly saw everything that occurred in her life as her Father working out everything for His own end. Even in times of suffering, I never saw her ‘wringing her hands’ and playing victim as so many of us do in trying times. She experienced and recounted not only His promises and faithfulness but mostly His grace in every situation.

And the grace she received she never withheld. His grace always flowed through her without barrier in the most difficult of times. She always made space for Grace in her thoughts, heart and the work of her hands. She was a woman who knew that there was NONE that compared to Him. Lord, may I be that woman some day...

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