Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Friendship (04/04/05)
TITLE: Sufficient Grace
By Debbie OConnor
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Liz staggered across the floor to stop the noise. Every nerve in her body screamed with fatigue. Standing before her alarm clock, she weighed her need for sleep with her need to hear from God. I can squeeze some reading in when Jenna naps… she thought…if she naps. She made her choice with a reluctant sigh.
Her reflection mocked her from the bathroom mirror. Liz pulled her hair into a ponytail and washed her face vigorously. “Help me, Lord,” she grumbled.
Before long, Liz was in her favorite chair drinking coffee and reading her Bible. “Man does not live on bread alone,” she read. “But on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”
She chuckled, “Woman does not live on sleep alone either, Lord.”
My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. The words seared her mind.
Liz found the passage and read it. Spiritually parched, she drank the scripture’s meaning greedily. “I believe you, Father. You are all I need,” she prayed.
A song of praise bubbled through her. Before she knew it, Liz was dancing around the living room in her pajamas. The power of God surged through her. Tears of joy streamed down her face. She felt like David when he said, “With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall.”
“Mommy?” A worried little voice penetrated Liz’s consciousness. “Mommy, why are you crying?”
“Jenna!” Liz said, startled. “Good morning, Baby.” She laughed and swung her daughter into her arms, kissing her until she squealed.
“Why were you crying, Mommy?” Jenna asked when she stopped giggling.
“Oh,” she said in surprise. “I’m crying because I’m happy.”
“Why are you happy?”
“I’m happy because Jesus loves me. He makes me strong when I’m weak.”
“How does He do that?”
“His Holy Spirit lives in me,” she said, and then she caught herself. Lord, help me put this in words she’ll understand, she prayed silently.
“Umm, it’s hard to explain, but even though we can’t see Jesus, He is with us all the time. When I’m tired, he makes me strong. When I’m sad, he makes me feel better. When I’m happy, He is happy with me.”
“How do you know that if you can’t see Him?”
“I can feel Him. I can hear Him. I can read about His love for me in the Bible,” she said.
After a pause, Liz continued, “You know, Jenna, if Jesus wasn’t with me, I would be very tired and grouchy this morning. Instead, I’ve been singing and dancing. Isn’t Jesus wonderful?”
“He sure is.” Then, with a preschool-sized attention shift and little pause, she continued, “Mommy, I’m hungry.”
I wonder if she heard a thing I said, Liz thought.
“Okay, sweetie. Let’s get you some breakfast,” she replied.
As Jenna devoured her cereal, Liz realized she had not heard her cough that morning.
“Baby, how do you feel today?”
“Thank you, Jesus!”
“Did Jesus make me well?” Jenna asked around the cereal in her mouth. Liz ignored her full mouth to make the most of a teachable moment.
“He sure did, Jenna.”
“Wow!” Jenna exclaimed with a grin. Milk dribbled freely down her chin onto her pajamas. “Thanks, Jesus.”
Liz turned to fill her dishwasher. The morning’s song still filled her heart. The peace of God pervaded her home.
The rest of the day passed like a dream. Liz marveled to discover she had enough energy to accomplish everything she had planned and more. She thanked God all day long.
When Jenna napped, Liz forced herself to rest.
Jason Scott came home to find his wife and daughter reading a book on the sofa. His home was clean and dinner was ready. He flashed his wife a happy smile.
“I expected you to be worn out after last night.”
“I was, but I had some help from a friend.”
“Jesus, Daddy! He made Mommy strong, and He made me well. And He made us happy all day long.”
Maybe she was listening after all, Liz thought.
Mt 4:4, 2 Cor 12:9, Ps 18:29 (NIV)
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