“Jobette” is the pet-name I gave myself as I endured my trial with Cancer. Like Job in the scriptures, I was physically tormented with pain and sores in my illness. I experienced humiliation and loss. Days were spent writhing and wrestling. And in my pride, the pride I did not think I owned, I indignantly questioned God.
In patience, my God generously poured out grace upon me. Undeservingly, I basked in the lavishness. Despite my ignorance, looking over and beyond my pride, He let loose a steady stream of grace.
Having raised nine toddlers, I have had much opportunity to observe the young pour themselves a cup of refreshment. Not having mature eye hand coordination, each toddler has naturally overflowed the cup, resulting in a liquid spill onto the counter and the floor, often causing the cup to tip over before the toddler sized coordination is able to stop the action of pouring. This is the picture I have when I envision God pouring out His grace upon me. Overflowing and spilling over by choice. Not because he is unable to coordinate his eyes and hands, but because he chooses to keep pouring a steady stream until I am totally saturated.
Grace. After twenty three years of following and studying the Lord, ya think I would know well the concept of grace. In my head, I knew it well. Defined as a free gift, I knew it. Yet, I confess, that I am just beginning to really know grace now. One of 47 things I know is that God
Gentle in His ways, my God works in my heart. “I had to give way and trust that my Father, my Abba Father, was healing and doing an even greater work in my heart where the soul lives” (*Towdah p. 127). Submitting to the understanding that I might never be healed of my physical affliction I learned that the healing of my heart was of more importance.
The residue of cancer treatments leaves its mark on my life and keeps me in a weakened state and God continues to work in my heart. I am finally “getting – it.” The saturation of grace is now beginning to flow out of me and into my vision and into my actions. I want to pour it out too!
Now, I indignantly question myself. Why had I not been more generous with grace before? Why had I not desired to pour it out with toddler ambition?
Sadly I see and sadly I admit it is because I was too full of pride. Grace and pride cannot co-exist. Like Job, “surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know” (Job 42:3b). In my pride, I was unable to access grace in a way that would allow me to receive it fully; I was not able to comprehend the fullness of the gift.
I believe, my Father God has been working in my heart for the last twenty three years. Twenty three years of gently rubbing against my pride and finally it is being purged! Now grace is able to be known in my heart – defined by true visceral understanding, allowing me fuller comprehension of the gift my God has been freely and lavishly spilling. My heart is changing. And that my friend, is where its at.
The message spoken through the prophet Ezekiel to Israel is pertinent even today, even for me, even for you, “I will cleanse you from all your impurities…I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you” (Ezekiel 36:25b,26a) Only God can change a heart and make it new. This is the working of grace. Saturated daily, I am praising my God for what I know about Him: He works in my heart!
Come back next Thursday for another offering of what I know about my God!
* Towdah: A Cancer Survivor’s Song of Hope is available at Amazon.com