The Fields of Grace

EDIT- For some reason this post only published the Title last week when I posted it, so I am reposting it today.

What about you?

Are you willing to climb those boulders and get back to running toward your own Calling?

In the past few weeks I have been sharing with you several struggles I am having within the context of missionary, stay at home mom, and being human.

I have been learning that I cannot do everything I may have thought I could when I was younger. I can’t read EVERY book, and cross stitch EVERY pattern, and spend 6 hours alone with each family member each week, AND… At first I felt like I had failed. I should be able to do all these things. All the voices of people telling me that I was doing too much were ignored. All the voices saying that my house wasn’t clean enough, or that I was still too fat, or that I was not a good enough wife and mother won out, and those weren’t even audible voices!

As I reflected on my Purpose and spent time asking God for direction, I found that it all had to do with my faith response. One of the verses I am memorizing on Memverse is James 1:22.

But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

If I hear what God says, even if I write it down, tell other people, but don’t follow that or believe that, I am deceiving myself. No wonder there are days I am not happy with anything. I wake up and work work work, but I am putting God aside thinking I will impress him by getting so much done and proving myself to Him.

God is the one who gave me my goals and Calling and He knew who he was hiring.

Do you have the energy to run to your Paragon or do you feel like your life is somewhat less than what it is supposed to be? Are you living life somewhat less than human?

I definitely have felt more like an uprooted plant than a living, breathing creature, let alone a human creature! Recognizing that God’s calling on my life, and all those little goals turning into a big goal at the end seems crazy. But as I focus on God He is showing me that it is true. He thinks so highly of me, while I think I am not that great. He loves me, while I am in the midst of hating myself.

A Paragon, an Ideal, is that Big Thing that separates us from the rest of creation. It makes us human.

If you find that Calling on your life, you may still feel like you are striving, working so hard, and not moving any closer to that goal, that ideal. The secret is Grace. Grace is not a human attribute. It comes from God. And it is free, which makes us hard-working people kind of mad. We want to earn it, but we can’t. So we don’t want it. At least there are a lot of times I don’t want it, anyway. I can’t just sit on my bed eating grace cookies all day, I have to do something, to live!

God Wants Me To Do (Remember that Paragon that started all this musing?)

Because of the miracle of God living in us, the very river of Grace is flowing through us! We have grace to give to ourselves and to give to others. It’s just that it’s God Grace we are sharing. This is why we say that Jesus Christ is doing it through us and for us when we do neat stuff. The Calling comes from God. Then the Grace to accomplish that Purpose comes from God, too. Grace is a paradoxical gift. God gives it to us for free, no strings attached. But we cannot experience it without action. We must move toward our calling in order to experience the grace.

It’s About Relationship

It isn’t about the Goal or about the Doing though. Once you get started on this sharing Grace with others by doing what you were called by God to do, you will realize that you are doing it because you want more of this relationship with a loving Father, a wise teacher, a funny friend, a calm Presence, Jesus Christ. Perhaps you need a fresh start with this type of relationship with God today. Perhaps you have gotten into a rut and it has gotten so deep in that rut it has become a valley, and you can no longer make God out up above you over the canyon walls.

To Experience Grace, We Respond with Faith

In junior high I made a plan. Not a very good plan, to be sure, to run from God and return in college. I knew that I could start fresh in college, so I made an unwise plan to run after whatever I wanted for a while, but return to God in college. I still had some relationship with Him, knowing He would always be there for me (I had read the Prodigal story about a billion times), but I just pulled back from engaging as much or giving of my Christ loving self to others. Instead I gave people my nerdy self, or my angry self, just my fleshy human self.

When I returned in college, that Grace swept over me and through me, and cleaned out so much gunk all at once in a prayer meeting with friends of a friend. After they prayed over me and all my issues and problems, things they didn’t even really know how to pray about or what to pray about, I was healed, they were stunned, and I was guilt-ridden.

Suddenly, I realized the waste it had been to run after nothing. I could have been living with purpose all this time! In those 6 years I had run from God, the flow of Grace in my life had slowed to a mere trickle. To have so much was scary and made me ashamed of what I had done in not listening to God and not seeking Him with everything. The relationships I had broken and hurt and mangled, that I realized would not be healed even now that I was a whole person again.

For me to return to Grace, to enter back into that relationship, was a strong lesson in the Cost of Discipleship. To run from God I was able to ignore a great deal of pain, to avoid coming in contact with hurt. That protection of self was costly to others, but being in relationship with God puts me right next to bleeding, hurting, traumatized souls who need more than I can give. It is a paradox, this Grace. Those boulders keeping us from a relationship with God can be all kinds, but they are not immovable. Remember God can even make water shoot out of a boulder. So that unclimbable boulder could just start shooting a river of Grace right at you.

For me, I will choose to chase after Grace with all my being. To run until I have it all. Because the more I have, the more everyone I come in contact will have.


Author: Annie Liss

Currently a mother and a wife who loves reading. Formerly a middle school math teacher who kept too busy and stressed out to read. My husband and I are missionaries in Lebanon.

One thought on “The Fields of Grace”

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