Monday, January 24, 2011

Best-worst-and everything in between

"Your worst days are never so bad 
that you are beyond the reach of God’s grace.
And your best days are never so good
that you are beyond the need of God’s grace.”
                                                                                        ~ by Jerry Bridges ~

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times" - so began Charles Dickens classic book A Tale of Two Cities.  We humans seem to love to compare and contrast between best/worst scenarios.

However, most of life is lived somewhere in between the best and worst case scenarios.  And sometimes it is there that we need God's grace the most.
                                              & & &
Once, when a loved one's life hung in the balance, as we were praying about the outcome, someone said to me, "I will accept it whichever way it goes.  Whether God heals him or whether God takes him home."

With quiet dread I thought, but there is another possibility.  He could survive, but be disabled for life.  "Oh, dear Lord, please, not that."  But we live in a fallen world.

The outcome was T-10 paraplegia (mid-chest), and it changed the course of our lives.  Heartbroken with grief, worn down with the ceaseless "whys" - we could not change what had occurred; and now our task was to accept what God did not cause, but had allowed in His sovereign wisdom.  Now we needed grace to learn to walk more humbly dependent upon God than ever before.  We did not always do it well and sometimes we did not do it at all.
I had long known that I would always need his grace even on my better days, but now I was to learn that I was never beyond His reach, even on my worst days.  It was a hard lesson.  The worst lesson - and the best lesson.

I read once:
There is so much good in the worst of us
And so much bad in the best of us
That it hardly behooves any of us
To talk about the rest of us.
(from the Marion Kansas Record by Edward W. Hoch)
Some choices can never be undone, some consequences must be lived out daily.  Thus, it behooves us to make our daily choices carefully and prayerfully.                                                    
                                                   & & &
"Choose you this day, whom you will serve" said Joshua to God's chosen people.  And to make the choice crystal clear the potential blessings or curses (consequences) were called out on a fateful day, as the voices rang out back and forth between Mt. Ebal and Mt. Gerizim.  (Deuteronomy 11:26 - 29. Joshua 8:30-35)

Thankfully, we live under the New Convenant, and God's grace is present when we choose the best, available when we are at our worst, and sufficient for everything in between. 
                                              & & &
Today's IOWT is hosted by Jennifer at Scraps and Snippets


  1. Beautiful words and you are so right with your words,"Thankfully, we live under the New Convenant, and God's grace is present when we choose the best, available when we are at our worst, and sufficient for everything in between. ", we sadly forget that He wants to free us from burdens not ladle us with more and He knows that no matter what, while on this earth, our steps will be heavy but "....His grace is sufficient".

  2. Beautifully said. Thanks for sharing today. We definitely live our lives between the best and worst scenarios life throws our way. How we live that time is very vital. We can live it to be bitter or better. Have a great day!

  3. "sufficient for everything in between" I am so grateful he is always sufficient. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post.

  4. "I had long known that I would always need his grace even on my better days, but now I was to learn that I was never beyond His reach, even on my worst days."

    Words of wisdom! Thanks Marsha for your post.

  5. I can't imagine living through the horror your family did and yet you give me hope that if God ever calls mine in such a way, He will provide what is needed.

    Know that your suffering has produced a beautiful spirit, my friend. It was, and is, not wasted. Praise God for His amazing grace.

  6. So true about the "in between" days...they truly can be the hardest sometimes...and yet, He is there to sustain us through those as well! And not only to sustain, but to provide for us abundantly above all that we ask or think. Thank you so much for sharing this week!