Sunday grace

Life is a conundrum. When I assume I might be figuring things out, it all changes and I think I haven’t got a clue.

Aware that half of 2020 is now in the past is weighty. What a strange year thus far, and the bizarre train is full throttle.

July is my birth month, and wisdom of the years comes from the hardest places. Memories of joy-filled celebrations gave way to take-out food, simple gifts, and texts from friends and family. Knowing I am loved and remembered is enough this year.

We arranged a retreat only to cancel. We planned events and celebrations but rescheduled more than once. The goals written in January lie somewhat dormant on the page of my bullet journal.

The gardens I labored over in spring battle for space while Kentucky fescue invades like a bully. More delicate flowers will lose if I don’t step in with Round-Up. My tomato plants wilt daily from the heat as I watch for green to turn to red.

This has become the year when taking it one day at a time is a mantra. Sweet William and I routine through our days. Mornings on the deck are a reprieve while the air is bearable, birds serenading from the little woods like they don’t know any better.

Perhaps they understand more than we do. They rejoice with song each new day, depending on food from the earth, a provision of their Creator. They build nests and raise young until little ones grow too big and must learn to fly.

Why should I worry about tomorrow or the next half of 2020? Does God feed the sparrows in my back yard, clothe the lilies in my field, send me sunshine and rain, marking seasons with moon and stars? He does.

Worry is futile, projecting into a future not yet here. The Lord made this day, preparing fresh mercies. He is more than enough for my concerns, sorrows, and burdens. He is my Good Shepherd and the God who sees me, right here, right now. He is my peace and my righteousness. His love will never ever fail me.

That’s really all I need today.

Sunday grace.

Even then

When the chestnuts get burned on the open fire,

When Jack Frost leaves painful frostbite in his wake,

When the carolers are singing off key,

And we shake with the cold of depression, sickness, loneliness, or strained relationships,

When bellies are empty and hearts are too,

And the season does not seem bright or happy or fun any more,

When kids want more and adults can’t be satisfied either,

And we find it hard to sleep at night because of heartache, fears and worries that dance in our heads,

Even then.

Even then God is good.  Even then He is enough.

If He never gives me another gift, He has given Himself and that is more than I deserve.

He is enough, completely by Himself, fully satisfying my deepest longings.

Nothing I desire compares to the manifold richness of His offered presence.

He came to be near.  Emmanuel.  The “with us God.

He put on a robe of flesh to identify.  He suffered, hungered, felt lonely and rejected, became so bone weary He slept through a raging storm.

He prayed for relief, then willingly submitted to the ultimate Will.

He bled and died to bring sweet relief, to open the door of access to the Father, to offer undeserved grace more than sufficient.

He rose to life with a promise that I can live, here and now with fullness, and in another world when immortality replaces the mortal.

He is enough.  No matter what.

Christmas Grace.