As I write this, I have been angry for 94% of the day. I’d rather not go into why (partially because it makes me look petty and odd), but suffice it to say that I wasn’t in the mood to write, and I particularly wasn’t in the mood to write anything uplifting. However, I refuse to write something here that will in no way benefit and/or encourage you, so I began to flip through my notes and my Bible, and I found something marvelous to share with you guys.
It all started with the first line in my notes. When Alan said that there are weeks in life filled with gray, I wrote “grace” instead.
I believe this is a wink from God because today, let alone this week, hasn’t seemed very graceful. Nothing about it apart from my loving mother and a very nice nap earlier seems to have any part in grace.
So I began flipping through my Bible and came across a small devotional in the back. It says that Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a prisoner in Germany during World War II and a Lutheran pastor, wrote in his journal not too long before his execution in 1945, “Lord, whatever this day may bring, thy Name be praised.”
That’s coming from a man who was oppressed and executed by Nazis, and I’ve been upset for most of this day simply because I want to be.
The scripture that was with this devotion was Psalm 145:9, which reads, “The Lord is good to all, and his compassion is over all that he has made” (NRSV).
It’s hard to accept that when we feel like nothing is going our way or when we’re so upset, regardless of the reasons why, that we just want to avoid the world and stay in bed all day. It’s difficult to see grace when all we see is gray.
Have I felt incredibly loved by God today? No, I haven’t. But why not? I woke up this morning and ate breakfast. I got to spend my day however I wanted to. Nothing truly terrible happened to me or anyone I love. I got to live in freedom. Sure, some things might’ve gone differently than I would’ve liked recently, but that doesn’t mean that God doesn’t care for me. The fact that I don’t feel God’s undying love doesn’t mean that it isn’t there.
One of my sincerest hopes in running this blog is that I’m very transparent with you, dear readers. I want you to understand that I’m a real person who messes up daily and struggles just as much as you and probably with the very same things that you struggle with.
I talk a lot about the love of God and how vast and beautiful it is because it means so much to me. I would be a completely different person without it. And I think it’s great that you guys have this chance to see that sometimes I forget all about it or that sometimes I even feel far from it.
My day was filled with gray, but it was also filled with grace. I didn’t treat God or people the way I should have today, but God and others have shown me nothing but grace. They’ve looked past it or forgiven me for it. They haven’t treated me the way that I deserved to be treated, and I’m so thankful for that. I’m grateful that they’ve met me with kindness and mercy instead of anger and fairness.
Gray and grace aren’t mutually exclusive. They often go together; we’re simply too shortsighted to see one in the presence of the other. Grace can come and consequences will still have to be faced, and gray can come with some positives. That’s not to say that each don’t come separately. It’s just that they can coexist.
I hope that you’ve had a better day than me, and I hope that you’ll remember this the next time your day isn’t so fantastic. I pray that you would remember that God loves you and cares for you even when you don’t feel that way. And I pray that you’ll always find grace when you’re surrounded by gray.
By Carrie Prevette