Grace & Mercy Bandages - Encouragement Café - January 24, 2017

Grace & Mercy Bandages
by Paris Renae
Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.  Hebrews 4:16 (NIV)

Starting 2016 at a memorial service for a friend only two years older than me was --- unexpected, unwelcome, heartache. Yet now I rejoice in the fact she can breathe without labor, have stamina that doesn’t end, and sees the face who gave it all for her.

A couple of months later found me unable to sleep in my own bed for six weeks, a back injury like I’ve never experienced. Follow that up in May with an ear and throat infection that once again waylaid me for three weeks. My whole being began asking: will this ever end? Now I can look back and see the slowing that came, the whispers in the dark, the trust that grew.

This is the stuff of life. We don’t like it at the time, and we don’t like it later when reflecting upon it. Yet in all of it, when we look closely at the canvas, we see an added dimension to us that wasn’t there before. A better us – not because of our great ability to face the storms – but because of a great God who is there in the storm.

Our verse today is preceded by a reminder, a promise, and our role:“Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight…Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.” Hebrews 4:13a-14 (NIV)

Hold firmly – that is our part. As we hit many bumps and get many bruises, grace and mercy bandages up the hurts. Grace and mercy heals the wounds. Grace and mercy lead the way into one more day, one more year. For nothing is hidden from the Father and Jesus is interceding for us at all times.

During the peace times, the joy times we still hold firmly. For it is in those we gain strength and it is through those we share that strength. Looking back on 2016, I find praise in my heart for the hard and the good – both are allowed by the hand of Him who holds my hand.

He holds your hand, too.  Give Him praise for the grace that gives us confidence, and the mercy we don’t deserve. And hold tight, 2017 is no surprise to Him, He’s got this and He’s got you.

Oh, Father, what we so often count as bad You use for good. We know that in ALL things You work for the good of us who love You. As we reflect or as we look forward, give us Your eyes to see You in the midst of it all. As we rest in Your care, bask in your mercy – let us share Your grace that more bumps and bruises can find Your healing touch. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

© 2017 by Paris Renae.  All rights reserved.

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Originally published Tuesday, 24 January 2017.