As I began to think about the ways God has been faithful to reveal His abundant grace to me during my freshman year of college, it wasn’t long before I found myself rereading through a few of my old prayer journals. After about two hours of reading and reflecting, I was at a loss for words. I’d read pages filled with the earnest prayers of my 19th year of life: prayers of uncertainty, epiphany, petition, praise, sadness, contentment, concern, and affirmation. I watched as God kneaded my calloused heart like dough and brought me to a place of genuine forgiveness. I recalled my deep concerns for my financial situation. I revisited a heartache fresh from the loss of a relationship I’d cared very much about. I was reminded through the adoption process of my new and deeply treasured cousin, that God is a Redeemer – and my Redeemer at that. And, for a moment, I was stuck between a state of confusion and thankfulness because I’d really realized that God not only heard every single one of those prayers, but He wanted to hear them!
One prayer however, stood out among the rest. I can recall one night in early February when I was mad at God, like really mad. I was mad at Him for allowing me to walk though a particularly difficult season of my life. I was so upset that I started writing out a bitter and accusatory prayer to Him in my journal. And as I sat there pouring out my angry heart to God, almost involuntarily I wrote, “Thank you for the grace You give me in my weakness,” and after that, the prayer changed directions. Suddenly I found myself asking God to give me peace and contentment in the midst of this season, rather than complaining about it. In that moment, God not only humbled me, but He reminded me of His unwavering commitment to me. God had not forgotten me, and surely He had not left me. There is purpose in His plans and by His grace I was reminded to trust in His faithfulness.
As children of the Most High King, saved by grace through faith in Christ Jesus, His grace is for us to have! God does not withhold His favor and His blessings from us, but gives them freely and unconditionally. Even when God’s blessings are not exactly what we had in mind, He is so faithful to bless us with more of Himself in our struggles, in our pain, in our pride and in our brokenness.
God wants to know our hearts, because He’s the one who made them, and He even died to pay the price for such intimacy. Hebrews 4:15-16 says,
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
May we learn to confidently approach the throne of grace – even in our weakness – knowing that God expects nothing, but is willing to give us all of Himself. May we learn to accept and thank Him for His unending and unmerited favor.
If you’d like to read more from Jocelyn, check out her blog “Fan into Flame” here.