a gracious grace revisited…

a gracious grace revisited…

I want to tell you how I feel tonight.
That being said, feelings are sometimes a dangerous soil from which to write. Seeds planted there spring forth from the rawest point of the human condition, and I have not always found this to be the most profitable way to manage my emotions. I long to put parameters around my weekend, to somehow be able to express to you all that’s going on inside of me, but in doing so, I’m afraid my words will fail … won’t adequately capture the depth of what I’ve tasted.

I’m not sure I need to. Some moments are better left to the sacred sanctuary of our silence. But throughout the past forty-eight hours, and in the midst of my desire to bookmark this chapter in my life titled Little River UMC, I’ve come to a simple, yet grand conclusion about the weekend. A few words I’d like to serve as my “stone of remembrance” regarding the grace of God and just how far he has traveled on my behalf to bestow on me the gift of sacred participation in his kingdom work.

I love God and his Word more today than I did yesterday. I want to jump into the pages of Scripture and be part of the story. I want to bury my head in the midst of God’s truth until it spews out of my mouth and ears and hands and feet. I want to scour every inch of every word that’s been written in the Word until it becomes the final word behind my many words.

Why the passion? Why the urgency? Why the need?

Because yesterday God proved himself faithful … again. Yesterday, I stood as a living witness to the power and transformation of God’s Spirit existing within me. To be used by God and to know that this usefulness is happening as it happens is the greatest joy and confirmation I have ever known. It wasn’t the expressions on the faces of those who gathered that signaled to me my effectiveness; it was the impression I felt deep within my soul.

Yesterday, I made a heartfelt offering to God. In my time of preparation leading up to the event, I promised to give him my best—to be a student of his Word and then to take my “learning” and to share it liberally with his children. Tonight, my heart longs to watch the seeds of that sharing blossom into something more … perhaps some of the reason behind my stirring emotions this evening. But yesterday’s sowing belongs to another … to hands that are better able to grow all things in accordance with a master plan that exceeds my efforts at cultivation.

Father God knows best the next steps in the journey … both theirs and mine. I must trust him with the “finishing” work. In the meantime, he tells me that we’ve got some finishing to do on my end. That I should fix my eyes on the road ahead, cast a glance in a forward direction, and continue my tutelage under his capable leadership.

I want to be prepared for more moments of having my heart stirred by holy impression. Whether they come to me through a group setting, a one-on-one encounter at the local grocery store, in my home or around the table with friends, wherever and whenever kingdom seed is called for, I want my pockets full for the sowing.

I don’t want to have to do research when the world comes knocking. I want to live the research that has come to me through intentional study and preparation. I want to prepared, in season and out to give a reason for the hope that I carry within my heart.

Thus, I get back to the Word this week. I keep learning, keep listening, keep bending to the leading of my Father’s initiative. He has something more for me, and I plan on jumping into the pages of holy writ in order to find it.

Would you join me in the search? Pull up your chair alongside of me in God’s classroom to see what he might want to teach you? Would you open up the good book to a good story and take your place as an active participant in the scene? All of God’s Word stands ready for our willing participation. None of it is null and void of purpose. It’s still breathing with authenticity, with life, and with the power to change hearts, move mountains, and bring us to our knees in absolute wonder regarding its worth.

I want God’s wonder this week; I want the same for you. All of us, every last one of us, are given a measure of influence upon this earth. Let’s invest our portion toward kingdom end, and let’s do so in remembrance and thankfulness for the grace we’ve tasted. As always…

peace for the journey,

PS: You might remember me writing about Mr. Calvin and the strong impression he had on me when I visited Little River last year (click here to read). That’s him in the picture above. He found me during a session break, and when I invited him to sit in on the last session with the ladies, he went home, put on a suit and returned. Truly, he is one of God’s most precious saints. I’ll see you again, Calvin.


22 Responses to a gracious grace revisited…

  1. We're having a revival at the other church in our charge. The message spoken by the evangelist tonight echoes what you have said here…

    What a wonderful weekend you had! Now, rest a little…you have a busy week ahead!


  2. A BIG amen, my friend! A BIG amen! I have seen myself moving in this direction for a while now…slowly, at first, but now with the desire growing day-by-day.

  3. how precious…
    mr. calvin reminds me of my daddy…
    glad you were used in such a wonderful way and that you got to enjoy such sweet people

  4. Pockets full of kingdom seed… I love that thought, Elaine. I want to be prepared, too. I NEED to be prepared, for I think I'm more of a sower than a reaper. Very inspiring post — thank you!

  5. I read THIS and then read your prior "Calvin" post. Clearly your God-given teaching gift is manifest in your hunger and thirst, your desire to be saturated with His Word! I pray with you & for you – for time to "seek" and time to "speak" His Words through YOUR instrument. Our hearts beat similarly, I sense. I wish you lived near enough that we could have a "one-on-one"….

  6. I love that Mr. Calvin went home and put on a suit!! Aahh, how I long for the boys and men in our society to take lessons from men like that!!!

    Soooo glad that you had a wonderful weekend. I am sure that those you ministered too where just as blessed by you being there as you were blessed by serving them.

    I am a willing participant this week with you too as we dive further into the scriptures. I keep telling the kids at church that the best screen writers in the world couldn't write the stories and lessons that the scriptures hold. The more you read, the more you want!!

    Have an awesome week as you dive deeper Elaine!

    Love you sister!


  7. Mmm, hmmm. Dig into that Word — as you clearly do already. It is such a part of who you are.

    But watch out, Elaine. Reading that Book is dangerous — BEAUTIFULLY DANGEROUS — because it's living and sharp and active. 🙂

    You, my friend, are a beautifully dangerous force against the Enemy.

    So keep a good grip on the Book, fasten your seatbelt and enjoy your ride this week through Technicolor Living in the Word.

  8. There's nothing quite like the feeling of pouring oneself over God's Word, digging deeper and sharing His truths with others. This Sunday I taught my 10th Grade Girls Sunday School class the message of Christ our Substitution. It was a tough lesson but praise God it came out in a way they could relate. May God continue to bless your ministry dear Sister. ((hugs)) By the way, you looked great!

  9. wifeforthejourney:

    Proud to be part of your growing ministry – driver, gopher, videographer, cheerleader, prayer partner – I love being with you.

    Thanks for letting me tag along on another of your "missionary journeys!"


  10. Elaine, I love seeing your heart! What a wonderful testimony to what God is doing IN you other than just what he's doing through you. Share your feelings anytime.

    It makes me envious and determined at the same time to have the same kind of relationship with God that you have. It is always a work in progress and a difficult task at times to continually go deeper and let God take over. May my thirst and hunger grow to such a level as what I see in you.

    Thanks for sharing. I love the reconnection!

  11. Elaine, I am joining you in pulling my seat next to God's and seeking His face and His will for my life. I feel like God has been urging me to fully yield my heart to Him … I am making this my heart's cry!

    Thank you for such a beautiful post! I am always blessed when I visit you! 🙂

  12. How wonderful, Elaine! You are such a blessing, I just know your time there will reap much fruit.

    Very special indeed.

  13. Hi Elaine~ I know the Lord used you in mighty ways over the weekend. I was praying for you from time to time. May the Lord give you rest and refueling after pouring out. 🙂

  14. Yes.

    To know Him.

    His word.

    His work.

    His love.

    His peace.

    That's what I want.

    So glad that everything went according to His plan.

    Prayed for you.

    Still am.

    Sweet dreams.

  15. Pulling my chair up and ready to learn. I am leading a book club these next seven weeks. Tuesday evenings in my home. Please remember Elizabeth if you can. A prayer that God will shed His seeds into the needs of the hearts that cozy up in my living room. I can only lead because of Him.

  16. I have God bumps as I read this post Elaine. Several lines just jumped off the page to me:
    "living witness to the power and transformation of God’s Spirit existing within me" and "All of God’s Word stands ready for our willing participation". Yes and amen.

    Joining in the search,

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