Monday, August 8, 2011

Amazing Grace

However many years a man may live, let him enjoy them all.
Ecclesiastes 11:8

On Tuesday, August 2nd, I turned fifty. When I was younger, I used to think people over fifty are old so now I’m feeling old. At some point, I’ll probably begin to wear polyester slacks and double knit cardigans – NOT! =D I don’t think a wardrobe change will happen any time soon but I know I’ll be thinking twice before doing anything strenuous. The other day I saw an exercise bar in a house I visited and quickly did a “chin-up”, as in pull my whole body up with my arms to get my chin above the bar. I barely succeeded and worse, my left arm now hurts periodically. I’m told that I probably pulled a muscle or strained it. I used to do several of those “chin-ups” effortlessly as a teen but definitely gone are those days. My mind can still remember what my body was able to do but I need to be realistic now to understand what it can actually still do. Like Peter and the other disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus asked them to wait, my mind and spirit could be very willing but my flesh is definitely weaker and no longer what it used to be.

My body’s limitation is my first lesson in what Eli calls, my “turning of age”. Secondly, I woke up early on my birthday to take a walk. During the walk, the Lord ‘wowed’ me with the sea of yellow flowers on the grass, the blue sky, and the perfect cool weather for walking. I was grateful. Still, as the Lord does with me, the next incident happened. On my way back, I was just half a block away from our house when I saw a young lady picking up strewn garbage on the street. A raccoon had knocked down her green bin the night before, rummaged through and ate the smelly leftovers, then left without cleaning up. She was doing the awful job of gathering the stinky mess. I saw some newspapers on the ground so I used it to help her pick up the refuse. She was appalled and insisted that I stop since I wasn't wearing gloves like she was. I continued to help anyway and with her advice that I wash my hands, she introduced herself. Her name was “Grace”. I suppose it shouldn’t have surprised me, but it did anyway. On this blog are several old postings which talks about the times when the Lord literally used women named “Grace” to help me realize what He’d done for me, and extended me. If you regularly read this blog, you’ll know what I mean. At any rate, after our encounter, I knew the Lord wanted me to concentrate on His grace in my life so I spent the rest of the day on the look out for it.

I received several email and Facebook birthday greetings, phone calls, and, cards and gifts from family and friends who came to the house to celebrate with me. I appreciated the show of care and love. In all that, what particularly stands out is the morning walk by the pond in Unionville with my sons and Eng. I picked a beautiful spot and asked them to pray for me. Each one prayed sincerely and thanked God for me. =) Then, they gave me a group hug. In the arms of my four sons and husband, and with the felt blessing of Papa God, I could feel the Lord smiling and couldn’t help smiling myself. Those tender moments made up my best birthday gift!

In addition to that grace, I saw two teens in a locked embrace early last week which reminded me of my ungodly relationship in the past and where I’d been. Had it not been for the grace of God and His mercy, I wouldn’t be married for 24 years, with 4 sons, on Home Assignment after serving as missionaries for over 10 years, etc., etc. Thank you, Lord, for your faithfulness in my life for the past 50 years! Praise you.

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