Sunday, September 18, 2011

Just as Much

As my husband pulled into our driveway Friday evening, the last bit of brake fluid trickled from the torn brake line onto our driveway, as he coasted to a halt.

Even as I typed that, all kinds of horrors went through my mind--of what could have been, had the fluid given out on a busy road, or worse yet, on the interstate.

I realized, as we paused to thank Jesus for his grace in the timing of the brakes going out (I never thought I'd be thankful for car trouble), it was the first time in a long time we'd thanked him (together) for Brad's safe arrival home.

There are many thanks whispered when he is delivered home safely in bad weather, or when he narrowly escapes an accident, or even when he is unharmed in a minor fender-bender.

But what about the days when it's dry and sunny and he arrives home from work without incident?

Just as much grace and mercy is poured into those days. It's so easy to forget to see Jesus in that.

We've been reading to our girls from The Jesus Storybook Bible each night as they drink their milk before bed.

The past several nights we've been reading about the Israelites. They wandered the desert for years, waiting for God to give them the land he'd promised them. Each day, for 40 years God provided manna for them to eat--bread, that literally, just appeared in the desert for them to gather and to eat.

Most of you probably know the story. Those Israelites took that manna for granted, and grumbled and complained about everything they didn't have. They forgot the miracle of it.

Every time I read about those Israelites, I pridefully think, Surely, if I'd been in the desert, I would have remained in awe of the miraculousness of the manna--and I'd totally be grateful.

My husband arriving home safely each night might not rank as high on the "miracle scale" as manna appearing out of thin air, but it is indeed a miracle. Each and every time.

I am those Israelites in this story. I take the gift of his daily safety for granted, and forget to give thanks for it. I might, on occasion, even complain about it, if traffic delays him a bit.

Turns out, Brad's not the only one receiving daily grace and mercy.

Everything's a miracle.

All is grace.

I love this little story below:

Clarence Macartney told the story about Dr. John Witherspoon . . . a signer of the Declaration of Independence and president of the (then) College of New Jersey. He lived a couple of miles away from the college at Rocky Hill and drove horse and rig each day to his office at the college.

One day one of his neighbors burst into his office, exclaiming, "Dr. Witherspoon, you must join me in giving thanks to God for his extraordinary providence in saving my life, for as I was driving from Rocky Hill the horse ran away and the buggy was smashed to pieces on the rocks, but I escaped unharmed!"

Witherspoon replied, "Why, I can tell you a far more remarkable providence than that. I have driven over that road hundreds of times. My horse never ran away, my buggy never was smashed, I was never hurt."

So we must beware of thinking that God is only in the earthquake, wind, and fire; of thinking that manna but not grain is God’s food. Most of God’s gifts to his people are not dazzling and gaudy but wrapped in simple brown paper. Quiet provisions of safety on the highway, health of children, picking up a paycheck, supper with the family—all in an ordinary day’s work for our God.



Amy Sullivan said...

Yes, everything is a miracle...why don't I see that? Most of the time because I rush around getting all of the "important" finished.

Now I must go click on your everything is a miracle link!

Shanda said...

Sometimes I make myself look for miracles. for, they are all around us and we get so distracted we don't see them. Just as I makes myself head out every week with my camera to look for beauty for my blog hop. Being in the practice of looking makes us so much more grateful.
PS..I have twins too!

Jen said...

Yes. oh, yes. I hear your words and I let them sink down into my heart. Every thing is a miracle. It's all about perspective...

Oh, and I have found myself to be pretty judgmental towards those Israelites, too. And then God teaches me a lesson... :)