I awake Sunday morning, and no…it’s not an early rising.
I’ve just enjoyed one of the last big “moments” in this season of leading a women’s ministry. And if you’ve ever served in women’s ministry, you know it’s a big one! We just had our annual women’s retreat, a weekend of fun and laughter and delight over the Word.
Now you understand the extended slumbering.
It was a weekend of joy in so many ways, but really, it’s been a weekend of Grace.
And the things we pondered, the words we lingered over, they are still floating on the forefront of my mind, settled in the corners of my heart, even in the not-so-early morning hours.
Words and thoughts and Grace to be shared.
We focused on the miracles of Jesus, the turning of water into wine, the healing of a paralyzed man, and His healing of Malcus’ ear as He headed to the cross. Grace for us, grace for our friends, and grace, even for our enemies.
But ultimately, and beautifully, we looked at the Grace of the cross. In the scoffing, scheming, blaspheming of the cross…Grace.
“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)
What profound words. What scandalous love. What amazing and extravagant Grace.
Something struck me though, as we glanced at Christ’s miracle of turning water into wine. It’s recorded in John’s Gospel that six stone jars, holding twenty to thirty gallons of water were turned to wine. But some scholars have estimated that Christ didn’t just miraculously turn twenty or thirty gallons of water to wine, but upwards of a thousand.
And I was thinking, in amused wonderment, of course…
He doesn’t just give us enough to skim by, He gives us an overabundance of grace.
His grace doesn’t just meet the perceived quota, He lavishes it on us.
Not meager scraps, but amazing, extravagant Grace.
Jesus is telling us who He is here; He is God, He is over all things, He is perfectly faithful to provide.
Everything He does is not without the utmost intentionality; not without His best for us in mind.
We can depend on Him, because He is perfectly faithful to provide, even when we don’t understand. (1 Thessalonians 5)
We can trust in Him, because He works all things together for good, even when the sanctification is costly. (Romans 8)
We can believe Him, because of the measures He has taken to show us His great love, even when fear crouches in the dark. (Ephesians 2)
I need to be reminded of that, don’t you?
In this encroaching season of unknowns, counting the cost, and temptations to be ruled by fear, I need to remember this Jesus who is God, who is over all things, and who is perfectly faithful to provide exactly what He knows I need.
And honestly, most of the time I don’t like it one bit.
But then His reminders come, through His sweet Word; surfacing evidence of His miraculous and extravagant Grace.
And they come, through the most unexpected weekends of Grace.
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” (Isaiah 43:1-2)