Monday, June 22, 2015

Future Grace

    So, here I am struggling big time with negative thoughts on what the future has in store. I cannot see past today and if I imagine the days and weeks ahead and the limitations confronting me in caring for my mom, I can't see the good ending. Yesterday was hard only because my thoughts made it so. My mind was wandering to a bad place full of negativity, selfishness and self-loathing for the pity party I was throwing myself. So, this morning I emailed a friend and asked her to recommend some good, daily devotionals for me to read. It needed to be something quick and easy since I no longer have the luxury of spending hours hunting and rabbit-trailing for good things to read. Her quick response was an email full of links : ) 
     Here are some excerpts from one link in particular, written by John Piper. It was so tailored to the struggle I was experiencing that I could only bow my head in thankful prayer after reading them and allowing them to sink in.

God is honored when we are humbled for our feebleness and failure, and when he is trusted for future grace (Romans 4:20). So unless we learn how to live by faith in future grace, we may perform remarkable religious rigors, but not for God’s glory.

He is glorified when the power to be holy comes from humble faith in future grace.

Martin Luther said, “[Faith] honors him whom it trusts with the most reverent and highest regard, since it considers him truthful and trustworthy.” The trusted Giver gets the glory.

My great desire is that we learn how to live for God’s honor. And that means living by faith in future grace, which, in turn, means battling unbelief in all the ways it rears its head.

     My attitude was greatly improved and I began to feel like I could just possibly do this very hard thing set before me. The battle within me was one of unbelief. I was not believing God would provide the grace I needed for the future. The future I saw from my feeble perspective was dim and foreboding. Hope is a miracle worker and the truth in Piper's delivery of God's word filled me with hope and understanding.  My day ended up feeling like it was filled with abundance. I took my mom out of the house for the first time in a week. We ran mundane errands in the awful heat, but it was still good. One of our errands was to pick up our fruit share from the Good Food Good People. When we got home, neighbor William walked over and presented us with two bags full of produce, including peaches! Combined with our own garden's output of zucchini and banana peppers, our bushel basket overfloweth. He also told me the three trees I ordered were in and the weekend looks good for planting. Abundance!
     I added one additional little gem in this photo that's obviously not produce. It's the straw wine from the vineyard Simon works for in Quebec. This sweet delicacy is my evening delight to drink out on the porch. It follows the theme of being grown and harvested by someone I know : ) Everything else in the photo is locally grown within a ninety mile radius of us here in Virginia!


  1. The devotions remind me of the response in The Book of Common Prayer - "I will, with God's help." I admire you so much for taking on this caregiver role. It's good that you ask for help when you need it.

    And what bounty you have there! I love that I am getting to eat blueberries every day right now - I even snagged some at the little green grocer at the end of my street that were grown in Georgia.

  2. What a beautiful photo to capture a change of perspective. I love when God turns me around with his Word and sets me back on the path. It is always humbling and joyful when I feel his presence and redirection.

  3. How lovely the way you write! Your abundance shows gratitude in several ways, not the least of which is your graceful heart.

  4. By the way, I read a good nonfiction book (thin volume but still a book) recounting the author's experience of caregiving to an elderly woman - her mother in law. It is called "The Fifth Season" by Lisa Ohlen Harris", and deals with the author's struggles with unflinching honesty. No worries if you don't feel like a book, but just thought I mention it.

    1. Thank you for the book recommendation! I will certainly look for it.