I’m thick into Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts, this time in the form of her Bible study.  This morning as I read Chapter 7, I found myself really thinking.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about being hemmed in by grace.  Certainly those things that are so amazing, so wonderful– that’s grace.  But is that it?  Is grace God’s favor, only when things are good and I am happy and the kids are hugging and dinner is ready on time?

Today rain falls.  Yesterday it was snow, then ice, followed by rain.  There are puddles everywhere, people grabbing their shop vacs, trying to race the water that’s pouring into their basements.  The back roads are a mess and it’s dreary.

And I see it.  This, too, is grace. The dirty, messy, confusing parts of life are also grace.  My brave husband stood in front of a church full of people on Sunday and told them, “Your personal circumstances are not a reflection of God feels about you.”  Do you think he’s learned that from books? No, he’s learned it by living it.

Grace like rain falls down on us.  It redeems the stains of life, but it doesn’t negate them.  And it certainly doesn’t mean there won’t be more.  But grace teaches us to take each moment, to thank God for it, and to believe that in spite of it all, He loves us more than we comprehend.

“You would be very ashamed if you knew what the experiences you call setbacks, upheavals, pointless disturbances, and tedious annoyances really are.  You would realize that your complaints about them are nothing more nor less than blasphemies– though that never occurs to you.  Nothing happens to you except by the will of God, and yet [God’s] beloved children curse it because they do not know it for what it is.” ( One Thousand Gifts, p. 125, originally quoted by Jean-Pierre de Caussade)