Originally published Tuesday, 18 June 2013.
iBelieve’s editor Kelly Givens sat down with Gloria Furman’s new book, Glimpses of Grace. Here are some of her reflections after reading-- definitely one you'll want to check out!
How does God’s grace permeate the mundane, day-to-day tasks and chores in our lives?
I write these words as I sit in my cubicle at work, a day much most work days. I love my job and I am so grateful for it, but I often struggle to find the gospel in my daily checklist of duties. Much the same when I get home; I rarely feel the significance of unloading the dishwasher again or putting yet another load of laundry in the washer. I’ve often looked back during times of quiet reflection and thought, Have I done anything significant for the Kingdom this week?
Is this your struggle? Do you struggle to see God and his grace as you care for your family or as you go about your work? If so, Gloria Furman’s new book, Glimpses of Grace, is for you. Drawing from her own experiences, Gloria explores the question of living out our callings in light of the gospel.
There’s a lot in this book to ponder and treasure, but here are a couple of things that stuck out most to me.
We Can Meet with God in Silence or in Circus
I don’t know about you, but I tend to think that I can only really “meet” with God—spend time in the Word, pray, have thoughtful reflection—if everything is quiet, all the chores are done and if my husband steers clear of me and my coffee cup! In response to these same feelings, Gloria writes:
I used to believe that this journey of sanctification—the adventure of God working in me, both to will and to work for his pleasure (Phil. 2:13)—would only be accomplished when I am free from the “distractions” of my life… I had allowed my spiritual life to be relegated to an easy chair with a hot cup of coffee in a quiet house without any noise or clutter in my life. (19)
As Gloria points out, our use of the work “quite time” to describe our fellowship with God is detrimental to our time with him. “Peace and quiet,” Gloria writes, “are not ultimate… because Christ is ultimate, the loss of any of these things—solitude or circus—makes no difference in the sufficiency of Christ or in his ability to give you everything you need for life and godliness.” God and his grace are available to us anytime: in the quiet of our home, in the noisiness of the playground and in the mundane of scrubbing the bathroom. Meeting with God can—and should—be something we do all the time, not simply when everything is perfect and calm.
The Mundane Matters to God
As I mentioned, sometimes it’s hard for us to understand why God cares about the mundane parts of our lives. Are they are even important to him? Is cleaning the bathroom really something God cares about or rejoices in? Gloria thinks so. She quotes Milton Vincent when she writes:
…[T]he gospel is not just one piece of good news that fits into my life somewhere among all the bad. I realize instead that the gospel makes genuinely good news out of every other aspect of my life…
God wants to change your heart and make you more and more like him as you work in your home, as you do your job at work. He uses all the daily mundane things and the unexpected things that crop up each day to grow us into Christ-likeness. He does this all in the midst of life, not in spite of it.
God isn’t waiting for you to finish you to-do list to work on your heart. He isn’t waiting to apply the gospel to your life until after you tuck your kids in bed. The power of Christ’s sacrifice for you, his death on the cross and gift of eternal life, isn’t waiting until life is perfect to transform you. No, God and his grace are meant to transform you today, starting right in the moments of the mundane.
You can purchase a copy of Glimpses of Grace here. For more on Gloria and her book, check out Lindsey Carlson’s review. You can also listen to an interview with Gloria on her book at DesiringGod.org.