Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Hope and Grace

God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits,
To the woman who diligently seeks...
When life is heavy and hard to take,
Go off by yourself.  Enter the silence.
Bow in prayer.  Don't ask questions:
Wait for hope to appear.
(Lamentations: 3:25 & 28 MSG)
It had been a hissy fit, pure and simple.  A nasty, embarrassing explosion of opinion and frustration that splashed out of me and hit some people who didn't deserve it.  I am, after all, human.    Sometimes my mouth - or my typing fingers - are three city blocks ahead of my brain.  I think most people can relate.  So, as I wallowed in mortification wondering what to do, I remembered this passage from Lamentations.
Lamentations is not a pleasant book to read.  All the brutality of humanity is there.  But right in the middle, like the lotus blossom in the blackest mud, is this gem.  This is the chapter that gives us that wonderful promise: Great is His faithfulness.  Right after that, we get our directions.  As the passage is translated in The Message, the steps to restoring us to a healthier mindset are clearly listed:
1.  Go off by yourself. 
        This is not a time for company.
2.  Enter the silence.
        This is not a time for talk.
3.  Bow in prayer.
        Connect with the presence of God.
4.  Don't ask questions.
        You know why you're here. 
5.  Wait for hope to appear.
        You can count on it... it will come. 
That Hope goes hand in hand with the thing we call Grace - the favor from a loving God that we don't deserve. 
In the comforting words of Ann Voskamp:  "Grace has a Name and He always, always meets you".