Grace for the Journey

We all go through different seasons in our lives.  Sometimes life is flying by, and we are coasting through unscathed.  Other times we feel like we are climbing Mount Everest through knee-deep peanut butter and briar patches. Right now, I am dealing with the latter.  I am a perfectionist, and I am SUPER impatient.  These two make for a bad combination.  I don’t like when I can’t get things right immediately.  I don’t like to struggle.  I like to get things done well the first time. Work smarter not harder and all that.

Walking with Christ doesn’t always work that way.  Honestly, it is usually the opposite. Maybe that’s why most seem to refer to it as a walk, not a sprint.  Paul says in Philippians 3:12-17:

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.  Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,  I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.  Only let us hold true to what we have attained. Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us.”

It seems the church at Philippi, and obviously Paul, knew my struggle well.  While I am not always a fan, Joyce Meyer nailed it when she said, “Enjoy where you are on the way to where you are going.”  I’m trying to give myself grace for the journey.  I’m trying to be thankful for the progress I have made in Christ, but understand that God is with me in the process (see Philippians 1:6).

God’s mercies are new every morning according to Lamentations chapter 3.  He doesn’t stop giving us grace, so why should we?  In criticizing our every move, we discredit the sacrifice Christ made on our behalf.  I would encourage all of you to find an accountability partner to take part in your journey.  Mine knows when I need a swift kick you know where, and when I need her to hold my hands, so I can’t beat myself up. Insert emotional “aww” here.  I’ll leave you with this poem that has been a favorite of mine since I was in middle school even though I am not generally one for rhyming poetry.

In His grip,

Ashleigh

God hath not promised skies always blue, 
Flower-strewn pathways all our lives through;
God hath not promised sun without rain, 
Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.

God hath not promised we shall not know
Toil and temptation, trouble and woe;
He hath not told us we shall not bear
many a burden, many a care. 

God hath not promised smooth roads and wide,
Swift, easy travel, needing no guide;
Never a mountain rocky and steep,
Never a river turbid and deep

But God hath promised strength for the day,
Rest for the labor, light for the way,
Grace for the trials, help from above, 
Unfailing sympathy, undying love

Author: Annie Johnson Flint

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