It is time for a personal testimony that I pray will become real personal to you. I have often wondered, as I assume you have, what would I do in a dark, terrible moment of sorrow and grief. How would I respond? The question always hung in space, unanswered, twirling before my mind. Well, this is a postcard from the unthinkable. Let me tell you what it is like.
I am not going to focus on the pain today, even though it is still very real. I am going to focus on God's grace. When and I do mean when, you suffer as one of His children, He really is present. He is genuinely drawn to His children and to others when we suffer. I want to add that He is more than just with you, although having Him with you is greater than having anyone else with you. No, he is not just a silent partner in your pain. He, well, how can I say it? I know, I will let the Apostle Paul say it. Paul was a man experienced in grief, struggle and suffering. 2Cor. 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
God is able. This means that the only thing between God's ability and your need is you and what you are willing to surrender to Him. Now, look at all the times Paul uses the word "All." We have access to all of God's grace. Grace is God's powerful working in our lives to do what we are incapable of doing. In Christ you get all grace which means that you get every kind of grace for every kind of impossible situation. Did you notice that it "abounds" to you. This is cornucopia language. This overflows like a basket of beautiful, fresh fruit. "So that in all things," stop there, whatever your painful struggle might be, stop comparing it to someone going through worse trials and miss what God has for you. Whatever you face is covered in "all things." "At all times," is another all inclusive statement. I find his grace saturates my times with him, with others and with God's word. I have "all" that I need. That is a powerful definition of God's grace. I may think I need some things or may intensely want something else but He gives me all I need. Sometimes it is like medicine, bitter to the taste, at other times it is a sweet desert made by a caring friend, but make no mistake it is his grace. Now, here is God's purpose and promise, "you will abound in every good work." God has a good work he is doing in and through this pain. That is more than something I hope or trust is true, it is true! Notice the language again, not the repeated "all" but the repeated use of "abound."
I for one, am glad that our Heavenly Father is a prodigal loving God because I have a prodigal heart. I love the way he receives the penitent sinner with open arms and an open heart. He throws a huge party, a great feast of fatted calf and restores completely and abundantly. He is quick to give responsibility because he has a good work in which he want his sons to abound. Question. What stands between you and God's ability to make all of his grace abound in your life of circumstances? Fear? Guilt and shame? A personal sense of unworthiness? Maybe, like the prodigal son and myself, you have a plan, an agenda for how to get back in his good graces. No, he has grace for you before you outline your plan to him.
I am amazed at the language of this verse. Paul says "God is able to make all grace abound to you." The shortage is not on his end. The failure is with you. James says that we simple do not have because we do not ask. Ask, believe and receive. Just now, stop reading and simply pray. Surrender you heart to him, and receive grace. Ask the Lord to come into your life, your situation and bring his abundant grace. He will. He certainly has in my life. He is able, are you
willing? Pain will drive you. Either it will press you away from him or further into his chest. You get to choose.