By Tricia Wood
I Peter 5:10, “But the God of all grace, who has called us into his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, establish, strengthen, settle you.”
James 4:6a, “But he giveth more grace.”
This is a testimony of how God’s grace has helped me through difficult transitions these last few years.
In August 2020, in the middle of the Covid outbreak, life as I had known it began to change. My husband was doing his devotions across the table from me. He looked up and said, “There is something crazy I need to tell you.” He then proceeded to tell me that he felt God was calling him to resign from the church where he had been pastoring for eighteen years and go into missions. That in itself was not a huge surprise because he had always been heavily involved in mission work. However, the “where” was a huge surprise. He felt God was calling us to a place where Christianity is not welcome — an oppressive, difficult place.
My heart sank as I listened. I had always been supportive of any move in ministry, but this one was different. I felt like I had given everything to the Lord until He asked for it all at once — our church family, our adult children that were still living at home, our lovely home that my husband built, our parents, our families, and our country. After six months of praying, fasting, and seeking the Lord, my husband’s burden only grew stronger. It was not until I cried out to God, yielding my complete will that He began to strengthen me with grace and peace.
Why is it that those things that He has blessed us with often hinder us from doing His will?
There were many tough days ahead. Our days were filled with saying goodbye to our church, packing and selling our belongings, selling our house and moving, our children settling into their new lives without us, and beginning deputation. However, I found that when each hard day would come, God‘s grace and peace would be there to help me through.
There is a quote from missionary Kim Abernathy that has become dear to my heart. “God’s grace is already in every place that He asks us to travel. It is when we choose of our own device to travel roads we have no business on that we find loneliness, despair, and helplessness. Any road traveled according to His will, no matter how painful and overwhelming it may seem, will always be paved with unexplainable peace and grace.”
Sometimes we allow our thoughts to run out ahead of us.
When my thoughts start to dwell on things ahead, I must bring them into captivity. I have to choose not to think on these things. If I allow my mind to travel down roads I should not be on, I become fearful and overwhelmed. When it comes time to travel hard roads, God‘s grace will always be there to help me. God‘s grace doesn’t accompany my thoughts but my steps.
There are some days I feel I have used up all of God‘s grace, but I’m thankful He giveth more grace. So, with each new day comes new grace.
I know there are many more hard days to come, but I’m thankful that when I begin to walk those roads on the hard days, His grace will be there to lead the way.