At the beginning of each year I ask the Lord to give me one word. One word that will help me see Him better, experience His presense and grow in Him. May I be completely honest here, “WHAT WAS I THINKING!” Just kidding, (kinda). These words can be painful. Last year the word was ‘Regardless’. I will love Him, (regardless, when I am mad at Him, come on be honest you get mad too!). I will share Him with others, (regardless, when I am intimidated to do so) I will walk in faith, (regardless, when life is falling down around me). I will serve my family, (regardless, when they could care less ). I will keep getting back up, (REGARDLESS, when I just want-to-lay-there). What an adventure THAT turned out to be and still is. This years word? Grace. To quote King David, “O Lord my God!” Shared with great passion.
The place and time (well, the story is told … Genesis Chapter 14 and little bit of 15) DeDe’s quick report, get to the point version: There was some warring stuff going on. One big bad King fought other nations. In this mix, Abrams nephew Lot was taken captive (yep, the Lot of the salted wife) Abram’s ‘Don’t mess with us’ courage, went and defeated the big bad King and brought Lot and stuff home. Following the brief battle, the King of Sodom offered Abram ‘battle bounty’, (we all know what happens in Sodom, to be blunt) I LOVE Abrams response, “I have raised my hand to the LORD, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, and I have taken an oath…” He basically proceeds to say “No way dude” The word says, “After this…” (literally) the Lord told Abram “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.” Abram had a preset, heart determined response. Sure, he could have tons of good stuff to increase his wealth. But, no. Pre-determined response to life, “God Most High.”
“Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, His love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the LORD say so…” (Ps. 107:1-2, emphasis mine) Let the redeemed of the Lord say so. Let those set free from ‘stuff’ declare He is good. He is good (regardless) of what is thrown at me. He is good when I am not. He is good when I hate the world. He is good when the bills are more than my paycheck. He is good when my heart is in agony. He is good when, I dont want to praise Him, when I don’t. He is good. Regardless. Pre-determined heart response.
A dear friend and I share often of what we call the ‘thread’ of life. You know, when life gets tough, that rope we hold on to gets thin, VERY thin. Our clinging and gripping has caused it to be so tattered it is down to just … a thread. For some, that thread is not enough, they bail. For me it is ALL. That thread is God. For me, it is the pre-determined, “God is good, regardless.”
The author of Hebrews writes (strongly I might add) “…he that cometh to God must believe that He is…” (11:6) We believe that He exists with faith. We have a pre-determine gut response that He is, and He is good. REGARDLESS to what I am feeling. Let’s face it, it may take a few minutes, days/months to respond, but that thread, that gut knowing has been preset, with hands raised to the LORD, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, stating that He-is-good.
It is GOOD to have a pre-determined word or response to life. Life comes fast-hard and extremely CRAZY at times. Do YOU have one? What is life throwing at you now. What is your response? “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so…”
Grace. Amazing grace.
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love & good deeds.” – Heb. 10:24)