From the Heart · Lessons

Breathing in Grace

I woke up feeling overwhelmed today.

Last night, instead of studying late into the night, I made the decision to go to bed earlier, and set my alarm for the morning. I wrote a long list of things to do and set it on my nightstand, expecting to have lots of energy from a good nights sleep.

“O, the best laid schemes of mice and men…”

My alarm went off. An hour and a half later, I got out of bed. I took a look at my list and thought, “Eh”. Then I came downstairs and made a pot of coffee. And I’ve been running behind ever since.

On days like today, when I think of going to Togo, I feel my heart rate go up.

My mind is crowded — There are dozens of forms to be filled out, and a passport and a visa to be obtained. I think I  need to more vaccinations than I have veins in my arm (and I hate needles). Then there are the flights and the packing and support and of course the mere thought of leaving everything I’ve known to live on another continent for six entire weeks with people I don’t know in a totally foreign culture. It’s enough to leave me breathless.

In moments like these when I question my sanity (ok, that happens fairly often), what I need is not to back out but to back up. I need to remember why I am on this adventure in the first place. I need to remember the One who has called me.

To be still — even just moments of time throughout the day — to stop my frenzied rushing and my racing mind and to really know my God. And to grasp on to His promise: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Why do I always fall back into the habit of me trying to control my life without the guidance of God? Maybe it is because I know I will have to surrender my heart to Him. Sometimes it is easier to get caught up in the details rather than considering God’s sovereignty, because that is so much harder for me to wrap my mind around. It leaves so much unknown and forces me to recognize my own limitations.

But the beauty of the Creator’s design is that in my cracks and “imperfections”, His glory shines through. As I learn to trust the Potter’s way, I grow in my understanding of His love and I grow in my usefulness.

There is nothing more comforting than the assurance that “He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 4:6). He is faithful, and that is what matters. That is what carries me when I feel unable to step up to the task He has called me to.

So today, I’m pausing for a moment to be still. I am breathing in the knowledge of my gracious, glorious Savior and breathing out joyful, grateful praise. He does not give me more than He in His infinite strength can handle. This moment, this day, and every day after.

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