Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Grace on a Thursday: When I screw up Plan A

Last night, I went to midweek church, primarily because my daughter was set on helping build a 100 foot- long banana split with the 4th/5th grade ministry. My husband wasn't able to come, my son complained about going, but we went, as I was committed to supporting her desire to participate.

I sat in the seat of the grown-up service, realizing we'd be getting home late and it was Wednesday night; time to write a Grace on a Thursday post again. And I was drawing a blank.

Then I glanced at the evening's outline in my hand. The title read: "Grace." Awesome, Lord. He provided just what I needed.

Ryan, one of our pastors, challenged us to process God's grace in a way I hadn't previously. I know grace is available for me when I'm going through hard times. I know grace is available for my overall, big-picture sin, paving the path to salvation through Jesus' death and resurrection. What I hadn't thought about is how it is by grace that God "reconfigures" His plans for me when I screw them up.

It reminded me of a car navigation system. When you drive off course, the system's voice doesn't scold you, condemn you, or force you back to the beginning of your mistake. It patiently reroutes you. It locates you exactly where you are at that moment, and guides you back onto the right course by a different path.

God is a lot like that (with a much less annoying voice). I don't know the number of times I've chosen to go my own way, provoking Him to His face and deciding my route seems best. Tons of times, though. Tons of times I've managed to thwart His best plan for me. Tons of times I've lost my patience and spoken a harsh word. I've ramped up control instead of knelt in prayer. I've missed opportunities out of laziness and selfishness. I've flat out chosen to rebel. And miraculously, God has never once left me in the dead end of sin. Instead, He draws me, in grace, away from my bad ideas and back onto His course. 

Have you experienced this? How God will take the mess we've created and rearrange the parts so that our best interest is still the priority? Nothing else in life works this way. Mistakes are always set-backs in every other area of life. But with Jesus, we can be completely working against His plan A - for instance, harboring bitterness in a relationship - and He will set to work convicting, healing and rearranging our hearts so that we come out of the hardship better off than we were before. That's simply amazing.

Romans 8:28 is such an important verse. You may know it. It promises that God causes all things to work together for the good of those who love Him. Tonight, I thought of this verse strictly in terms of my mistakes as being the "all things." God not only works things outside of our control together for our good. But "all things" includes my own willful sin. What a grace that is! I may endure consequences for my poor choices, but God is regularly rerouting my wayward journey so that I am being guided back to Him. Back to forgiveness. Back to hope and peace and joy. That is what I call redemption. And it's all because of grace.

Thank you, Lord, for showing up for me last night and giving me fresh insight on what grace does. We so depend on it, every single day. May we follow you faithfully today, and if not, may we quickly embrace your generous grace to realign our wills with Yours.

{P.S. For those of you who are new here, I have another blog where this girl and I chat, called Cake & Cotton. My latest post is here, on a quick and easy fall craft I did with the kids last week.}



  1. awesome. just awesome. thank you, Jesus, and thank you, Leslie, for reminding me. :)

  2. leslie! that's such a good word! i so often forget that God isn't up there in Heaven heaving and sighing at every single sin i committ. he stands in our defense! his power is made perfect in our weaknesses....thank you for this!

  3. Thanks for sharing your experience and your gained wisdom. I always need this reminder. : )

  4. Oh Les, last night was super hard for me. Eric came home with BIG news for our future and instead of taking it all in gracefully, I blew up(which I NEVER do...I usually just go off quietly) and I struggled for hours, sobbing and pouring my heart out to the Lord. Please keep me in your prayers.
    I feel like I havent even been able to process our awesome weekend and then to come home to this is just...I dunno. Im torn. I need grace. And I know its there.
    Sorry to vent:(

  5. God is an awesome God :)

  6. I like that idea... that God's grace reroutes you. I need rerouting... often. :)

  7. I love that too, God has patiently rerouted me many times-and I'm so grateful for his loving grace in my life.

    It think his grace works out and even changes our circumstances more than we could ever know. It's grace that puts us behind a slow car on a windy highway so we could arrive at our destination in his time (not ours), grace that closes the check stand just so we can have an encounter with a weary checker, grace that orders our days even when we are unaware. He is so good, and I know that I long to be more and more aware of that rerouting grace!

  8. I loved your analogy of the car navigation and how God gently, kindly reroutes us when we go off course. Great post Lesley. Thank you for it