(We’d sung the song by Matt Redman, Your Grace Finds Me, as a congregation many times, but one Sunday last summer, the words in the refrain impacted me differently.
Your grace finds me;
Yes, Your grace finds me!
Since that Sunday, I keep being reminded of ways God’s grace has found me in the past, finds me in the present, and I’m assured, will continue to find me in the future.)
The medical report my family doctor gave me sent chills up my spine.
The research I set about to do on reputable Internet medical sites added to the foreboding.
The specialist I saw was very nice, very professional but also very straight about potential possibilities.
I tossed and turned through several sleep-deprived nights.
I determined I was going to dig in my heels of faith and trust God—no matter what the outcome of my medical condition might be.
I resolved to discuss the situation with no one but my husband— except God—I talked to God A LOT about it.
I poured out my fears.
I requested God give what I felt certain would be the best outcome.
I asked for strength to accept any outcome.
I searched the Bible for verses to bolster my faith.
I reminded God—as if God needs reminding—about what seemed to be biblical promises.
After almost three months of extensive—and expensive—testing, I re-visited the specialist.
The medical report he gave me resulted in a huge sigh of relief. There seemed to be nothing to worry about—at least for the present. He’d monitor the situation but thought there was no need to schedule another appointment for a year.
The first thing I did after I left the doctor’s office and entered my car was make a joy-filled telephone call to my husband. Ron echoed my huge sigh of relief.
The doctor’s office was only a 10 minute drive from home. I thought immediately about God’s grace during that short drive. I was thanking God for His good grace when my ears perked up by something a radio minister was saying on the Christian station to which the car’s radio was tuned. I don’t know what program was on nor do I know who was speaking—I didn’t normally listen to that station—but the words I heard impacted me tremendously.
“Sometimes God’s best grace is difficult grace,” the speaker said.
Difficult grace! That’s exactly what I’d experienced for nearly three months! Yes, those months through which I’d traveled were difficult—really difficult! Yet, along the way, my chilled spine developed into a stronger spiritual backbone. Instead of scrambling for pity from others—my typical go-to behavior—I was empowered to stand firm with only the support of my husband and my God. After my intense immersion in prayer and Scripture, I emerged a more faith-filled woman.
During that difficult time, I experienced:
Grace that distilled dread into determination.
Grace that taught me I can trust truly a truly trustworthy God.
Grace that fueled fear into faith.
Grace that subdued scary thoughts and sleepless nights.
To be perfectly honest, I prefer the kind of grace that paves a pleasant path. I don’t volunteer to climb difficult, uncertain rugged mountain trails. Yet, when I look back at this experience I realize during it I learned valuable lessons.
- No matter how difficult the journey, I will receive the strength needed to keep moving forward.
- An unseen, but oh, so real, guide will go before me, clearing away impossible obstacles.
- Peace is possible even when my problem seems impossible.
- Difficult grace is divinely designed to build my faith.
- Even during life’s most difficult moments, grace will find me!
God, you know I needed a dose of difficult grace to showcase your goodness. Thank you for empowering me to travel through that troubling time with trust and resolve. Thank you for giving me the incomprehensible peace described in Philippians 4:7—peace that comes only from you.
And, Heavenly Father, I know some people reading these words are going through their own difficult journey. I ask that you will be with them; strengthen them; give them glimpses of your goodness. Help each to emerge with stronger faith built during this season of difficult grace. Amen
Ron took these photos during our New Year’s getaway to Fairmont Hot Springs in British Columbia, Canada. The rugged, magnificent mountains seemed the perfect visual as I considered ‘difficult grace.’