Dear General’s of the Living God – Blessings to you on this beautiful Memorial Day! It is such a honor to recognize and remember all the men and women who gave their lives for this country… I heard that it all started decorating the soldiers grave before and during the American Civil war in 1861… I was thinking, that even in God’s army – we need to be able to understand our rank… as General’s and Warriors every day… we may get wounded and lose life, but as Paul says, in Philippians 3:8, “everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ”; it is all worth it!
With that said, let us jump into meditation that is close to many of our hearts, “Grace” – we have listened to many, many messages and explanations for “Grace” but we will never be able to give justification or fully comprehend Grace – and someone nicely put, Grace is nothing but an absence of human effort.
Lamentations 3:22-24 says,
The LORD’S loving kindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I have hope in Him
God’s grace is new every morning, and as one pastor said, it is like a rain, and we need to stretch our hands and accept it. Whatever we have done in the past or present or the future, there is one thing certain about the Lord whom we worship, and His loving kindness never ever, ever, ever, never ever ceases… and His faithfulness is unparalleled.
“If Grace is an ocean”
I was listening to this beautiful song over the weekend, “Oh, how He loves us” and the writer is very deep in his thoughts, and in one place he says, “Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes, if His grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking”.
I have heard an incident that happened to Pastor Paula, who is known in the evangelical circles as “America’s sweetheart”… and she was talking about a missionary trip that she took oversees.. and she had a break one day, and so someone asked if she would like to go on a horse ride and she was so excited and said yes, and they said, this horse can take you through the water and so she went.. and as they were in the water, all of a sudden the water level deepened, and the waves were coming in all directions… and she was praying and saying to God…it is not cool Lord, I don’t want to die like this – I would rather die as a martyr or something… but she was trying hard to hold on to the horse, but as the waves were getting stronger, her hands were starting to hurt… and she was trying to pull the horse and now she is starting to drink the salty water… and finally she decided to give it up and rest… and that’s when she realized, that the horse knew how to go under the water and come out to the rhythm of the waves…
As she was taking through this experience, I was thinking, we are often times trying to do the same thing in our life, working hard instead of submitting to His Grace. All we need to is, rest in Him.
Exodus 14:14 says, “The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent” and another translation says, “The Lord will fight for you while you keep rest”. It is our human nature to battle when things are challenged, Just like Pastor Paula, but how blessed are we to have “The God of this universe” fight our battle. When God is our defender, we don’t have to argue back to others; we don’t even need to have a plan to justify our actions. Having quietness in our heart, mind, and spirit is essential when our life is challenged… Psalms 46 says, “Be still and know that I am the Lord!”
In the above song, the writer is comparing Grace to the ocean, to show the magnitude of how deep and how long the breath is – but it is even beyond that. Over the weekend, we had a chance to meet with some of the fathers…
Here is a letter one of the father’s gave it to us…
Me and Jordan have a great relationship we see each other on a pretty steady rate. But that day (Forgive Me, Dear) we had together in this program made it a very special day. It turns out to be a lot more emotional than I had anticipated but at the end when I asked my kid to forgive me and he said, “Dad, I forgive you”. It was a moment me or my son will never forget. Thank you!
How can we compare the depth of God’s ocean that this father has experienced… It is nothing but Grace….
Here is a portion of a writing from another father …
My kids are my everything. But when I was out I was into the wrong things. It cost me the most important thing to me – my days. I was sentenced to life in 2009 and It was a tough blow to my children and their mom. I wanted to give up so many times within the first year, but God is faithful.
….(the letter goes on)… to talk about how Trust is being built and hope is revived…
How can we quantify this grace…. All they want at this moment in time, is their children to see them as fathers, and not as inmates nor strangers – They are looking for the ocean of grace… where they want to sink and drown. We never know what impact that the Lord is going to bring into the lives of these fathers, but one thing is for certain, His Grace and loving kindness never, ever ceases from our life. There was a man in Kershaw Correctional told Chaplain Potoka, if these people can love my children so unconditionally, I want to know their God. God’s Grace has to be in the room, for these father’s to come in contact with the Savior who is full of Grace – and His grace is like an ocean, that we all sink…
Today morning, I don’t know what you are going through… but I am praying for the Lord to give you grace to quiet your heart.
Wherever we go, remember we all carry this banner and the brand and the image of the one who sent us … and His grace covers us all like an ocean.
May the good Lord bless you!