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Unaccountable Grace

In the past few hours I’ve been feeling slightly less wretched about not spending my off days profitably. The time is gone, I have not been a good steward, but it is gone, and now I see what grace I’ve received and not just what I’ve failed to do.

One instance of grace that made me unreasonably happy was the arrival of baby Grace to her parents on a day that’s become doubly significant to me as a result. This is the only time I’ve prayed with any sort of regularity for anyone’s baby, and all I can say is that God’s timing is wonderful. I’m pretty sure that that inordinate happiness I experienced is called ‘joy’, although I can also imagine that the parents’ joy is another thing altogether.

I’ve also known the joy of having good friends to take comfort from, and the joy of having good things to share with them. It is too easy not to realize that I don’t share or that I feel like I’m missing out on something, instead of appreciating.

Another instance of grace received is the reminder that I’ve both received good and done good in my professional capacity. My job is not an awesome job, and is often un-meaningful and unjustified drudgery, but this island-0ff-an-island has been home to good too. I had no less than five opportunities to express my opinion about job-related work in the day, including one to an old acquaintance about to start work here, and there was good to be said that I didn’t have to grudge or qualify.

I also thank God for things like coffee, which I think of as things easily available and which we do not have to be particularly susceptible to to enjoy. One poignant example: On this island and near this island, it is common to pause all conversation while the noise of the passage of a jumbo jet recedes. On the way to the ferry terminal, I also sometimes get to watch planes take off if I’m in a car. I could be moving parallel to one across the fence, and then it gradually overtakes and lifts off shortly after. I got to watch this again last night, and usually it’s easy to think about being grounded or of going far away.

During Bible study this week, I drew that in many ways, disciples don’t get a break; either the way is hard, or we wonder whether things are easy because we’re not being faithful. Today I was reminded that Jesus also said, ‘My yoke is easy and my burden is light,’ and that He gives grace and He gives joy because He loves and not because we succeed.

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