Sunday, March 25, 2012

Saving Grace

"But for the grace of God - there go I..."  How many times have we been in a situation where we compare ourselves or our situation to others?  Usually it is at a time when we observe either great grace or great despair - extremes at both ends of the spectrum.  We may know of a certain situation where someone we happen to know is doing very well financially or in their relationship or family situation and we become jealous - or - we observe a different person completely down on their luck - on the street - maybe homeless, without anyone to care for them or about them. Two extremes and yet we offer the same "but for the grace...." commentary. Why do we find ourselves comparing our situation to that of anyone else? Could it be that in specific moments of our lives we see either the complete presence or absence of God in our life? Do we use these moments to praise or blame God for what we have done or allowed ourselves to become? Although we are creations of God's divine love - we do have the gift of free will and it is how we use that gift that sets us on the path of our lives. We choose either very well or quite poorly - but in the end it is our decisions that place us where we find ourselves.
Love and hate - happiness and sadness are decisions that God leaves up to us. He gives us opportunities to act and react to multiple events and opportunities in our lives and in our actions or lack of action - we create the reality of the world that surrounds us.  In John 12:27 Jesus said "my soul has become troubled and what shall I say 'Father - save me from this hour? But for this purpose I came to this hour'."  Jesus had a choice to make in His life - to trust completely in His Father or to walk a different path. Like us - Jesus was faced with decisions. He had to rely on His faith and in our lives Jesus asks us to rely on our faith.  He guides us along the path but He does not force the path we chose to walk. In our decisions - the right and the wrong - Jesus walks with us. It is through Grace that we have the courage and strength to walk with Him.

Deacon Dale