Life is so full of surprises. Yet knowing that God is so mindful of His creation that He numbers the hairs on my head often requires that I sit still and try to figure out the significance of things that seemingly "just happen".
Take, for instance, a rainbow that suddenly appears. I know how it forms from education. When there is moisture in the air (after a good rain) and the sun is in a specific location--light reflects off the raindrops and we get a rainbow. The colors appear because of the spectrum that is in the light. A natural occurrence in nature. But the Bible also says that God put a rainbow in the heavens as a remembrance to all mankind that He would never again destroy the earth with a flood. So there are times when it seems like God purposely stops us in our tracks for a reason.
Recently, I underwent a major surgery on my knee. I now have an artificial one, and it is working well. But pain was still nagging now and then, especially at night when I turned over on my side--my leg didn't appreciate the movement and complained by waking me up. Which led me to do some complaining about it to the Lord. I knew that it would eventually heal up and the pain go away, but at the moment it was depriving me of good sleep. A good miracle of healing and I could be rid of it. But nothing like that happened. Instead, the Lord spoke:
"Put your leg on a pillow, and when you turn over it will be raised enough to where it will turn when you do." I tried it, and it worked.
As I lay there basking in my new-found Word of Knowledge, I suddenly recalled a recent event in which a very close friend had disappointed me so much that every time I thought of her, I could not get past the hurt of what she had done to me. I knew that I had forgiven her, even though she had not asked for it--but how was I to erase the memory of it? I still loved her like a sister and longed for things to be like they were before--yet every time I thought of her, I thought of what she had done. The wound was still hurting. How unfair it seemed. God had said in His Word that when He forgives us of sin, He throws them into a sea of forgetfulness. How neat! But I wasn't God. How could I erase those painful thoughts?
"Like you just did with your leg," came the answer.
Puzzled, I stopped in my tracks and let the Holy Spirit unravel what I had just heard. What connection could there possibly be between my painful knee and the pain that occurred when I thought of my friend?
"Surround her with My Grace and that will be the cushion that allows you to overcome the pain," the Lord said.
I am constantly amazed at how easily one can forget some of the greatest spiritual lessons God has taught them; Grace. Unmerited favor--I had once sought Him for answers about Grace. It seemed like a simple thing to know that I cannot work for my salvation, for it is a free gift of God to merely be accepted. But there seemed to be much more, for I read where Paul was constantly writing, "I pray God's Grace be upon you all." How could Paul give it away? I asked.
That night I had a dream from the Lord. I was traveling down a freeway when I came upon a horrible wreck. Five cars were all smashed together, and people were lying on the pavement wounded and bleeding. I was first on the scene, and quickly realized I had no way to help them except to call for others. I ran back to my car and picked up the microphone of a CB radio and called for help. No one answered me. I kept turning to all the channels, but to no avail.
Just then the Lord appeared by my car door. He reached in His hand and put it on my shoulder and said to me, "Mary, if you will put it on channel five, the number of My Grace, you will get the help they need." And so I did, and someone answered me and help was soon on its way. The Spirit then spoke to me, "Whenever you find people hurting and needing my help, ask My Grace upon their needs and I will send it," came the answer.
The next day I was to preach in a small service, and I decided to share what I had learned about Grace. Everyone was excited about it, and when it came time for prayers, all came forward. "I will just ask God's Grace on your needs and we will see what He will do" I told the group. And so I did for each one. The last lady to come forward said this to me, "Sister Adams, I do not need healing or anything like that, but I do have a need. My brother came to live with us over a year ago. He was out of work and had no money. I loaned him $1000, but then we had a falling out and he left. I haven't heard from him since that time and don't know where he is. But I need my $1000." We held hands, and I simply said, "Lord, let your Grace be upon her need and cause your Grace to come upon her brother to be reminded of his debt to his sister and return the money." That was all the prayer that was said. We then dismissed.
That evening, my husband suggested we go out to eat at a cafeteria. After we finished and were coming out of the building, that same woman and her husband were arriving. She saw me and came running. "Sister Adams! You won't believe what happened this afternoon at 3 o'clock! There was a knock on my door, and when I opened it there stood my brother with a check for $1000 in his hand!" Trembling, she told me that he now lived 75 miles away, but had "suddenly" remembered the debt he owed his sister, and now that he had a good job he could repay her. He had then gotten in his car and immediately headed straight for her house.
You and I are stewards of the manifold Grace of God. Jesus had plainly told me that whenever I found people hurting and needing His help, even if they did not deserve it, I could ask for His Grace to be upon their needs. And I had forgotten!
I repented that I had not covered the situation with God's unmerited favor and love. I wasn't thinking of HER hurts--just mine! I had not really reached into the depths of it and seen my friend through the love God has for both of us. He had mercifully seen my pain--not just in my knee, but the even greater pain in my heart and come to me with an answer. Could I not have the same mercy for someone so precious to me? He too saw the pain in her heart.
Now when I think of her, I see her as enveloped in that pillow of Grace. All will be well between us. And when I look at the 8 inch scar down my knee I am not reminded of the pain of surgery, but of the awesomeness of His Grace to us all.
Are you constantly reminded of the pain in your heart over some situation? God's heart so loved you and I that He sent Jesus to pay the price for our sins. We can never pay the price--He did that for us. That is what Grace is all about. But there is more to Grace than we know--far, far more. We are also overseers and distributors of it to the hurting and dying world about us and even to ourselves. Pray for God's Grace to be upon your pain, beloved. He will answer you.
I believe with all my heart there will also be a knock on your door very soon.