Posts Tagged ‘God’s grace in disguise’

I was watching a Christian TV program recently that featured an interview with Brian Doerksen. For those of you who aren’t familiar with him, he’s an acclaimed Christian songwriter and worship leader, and a beautifully humble man. During the interview he talked about two of his children, both of whom are profoundly disabled due to a genetic condition called “fragile X syndrome”. Rather than describing his family situation as a burden, Brian said that these kids know how to give and receive love in a way that “normal” people don’t – and this makes them a huge blessing. He said, “sometimes God’s grace comes in disguise”.

Wow. That is such a great attitude to have in the face of some of the things life throws at us. Actually, if we understand God’s grace, even in a limited way, we realize that we aren’t just saved by grace. We live and breath and have our being in and by grace, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day.

It’s easy to see God’s grace when something happens that we like. “Wow! God is so awesome! I needed extra money this month to make ends meet, and someone at church just blessed me with a cheque for (fill in the blank)!” But grace doesn’t mean getting our own way all the time, or getting everything we want. Why? Because God sees things we can’t see, and His main priority isn’t our comfort and happiness.

Think about the story of King David’s sin with Bathsheba. He was the most powerful man in Israel. He started out as a humble shepherd boy, but apparently power went to his head. He saw Bathsheba, had her summoned, and slept with her. Then he tried to cover up his sin by arranging for her husband, Uriah, to be killed in battle. In a rather understated fashion, the Bible reads, “the thing David had done displeased the LORD”.

If you’re familiar with the story, you know that Nathan the prophet confronts David. I love what the Bible says: “The LORD sent Nathan to David”. (2 Samuel 12:1) I’m sure David would’ve preferred if his cover-up plan had worked, but God sent Nathan to David because He loved him – and because David’s sin put the whole nation at risk. Sometimes God’s grace comes in disguise.

I’m experiencing God’s grace in disguise in my own life right now. I’m returning to work shortly, and I can’t say I’m jumping up and down for joy at the idea. I’ve been off for almost 10 months. I like my job, but I like what I’ve been doing in the last ten months better – exploring my creative side, stepping into ministry through the natural and spiritual gifts God has so graciously blessed me with. (there’s that word!) So I find myself worrying, wondering – what are you doing, God?

I hear Brian Doerksen’s words: “Sometimes God’s grace comes in disguise”. God’s plans and dreams and hopes for us exceed anything we can conjure up ourselves. Put another way, He “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…” (Ephesians 3:20) According to His power, by His grace, for His glory.

God opens doors that no one can shut, and closes doors that no one can open. In the interim, I know that His grace is sufficient for me, for His power is made perfect in weakness. What is weakness? The realization that without Him, we can do nothing. When I am weak, then I am strong. It’s really liberating to let myself be weak in His arms. Makes me think of something Jesus said – “you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Is there anything unwelcome or perplexing happening in your life right now? Has somebody confronted you with something you don’t want to hear? Don’t be too quick to dismiss every obstacle as “an attack of the enemy”. It could be God’s grace in disguise.


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