By Chris WittsSaturday 21 Sep 2013Morning Devotions with Chris WittsUncategorizedReading Time: 0 minutes
Have you ever heard this expression – ‘caught between a rock and a hard place’? I have a feeling many of us get both of these in our lives – a rock and a hard place. What are our rocks and hard places? They can be internal or external.. what is a rock and hard place for one person is different for another person ..
You might be familiar with the childhood game “Rock/Paper/Scissors”. The rock loses to the paper because it becomes covered by the paper. And in our lives,we can cover our rocks and our hard places as well. Often people pretend the hard times don’t exist,and we call that denial. But in the Christian sense,God’s grace and love is available anytime ..That might be easy for me to say, but how do we find this divine outpouring of grace and love? What is the best way to move through these hard rock places,and stay intact? How can we keep it all together?
1. Expand our narrow thinking
People of the Jewish faith once a year celebrate the holiday of Passover. The holiday commemorates the freedom of the Jews from Egyptian bondage and their trip through the desert to the Promised Land. The Hebrew word for this bondage is mitzraim which translates as “a narrow place”. You see,the Israelites were enslaved not only physically,but even once they were liberated,they still felt restricted ..many of them lacked faith in God and God’s ability to deliver them to the Promised Land.
But today many of us have our own limitations and assumptions which prevent us from knowing God’s presence ..we put mental and emotional shackles on ourselves .. we become frightened at the negative experiences of life and are not prepared to step outside the comfort zone,and not trust God. We put limitations on ourselves that stops the flow of God’s grace .. we all do that in one way or another.
Fear keeps us narrow. But experiencing God’s love opens our eyes to what life is all about ..
2. Why not try and be open to identifying and receiving grace
I have often referred to experiences as our dark night of the soul .. it’s hard going,and we are locked into the problem we face. Our conversations with God more often than not sound like,”God this sucks. God where are you? God,do this for me just this once. God,why have you left me? God why aren’t you answering?” In this space of fear and confusion,how could we be open to identifying and receiving grace? Would we know grace if it hit us in the face? But I think grace is Divine good will and Divine favour … It is always plentiful and ever flowing. But it also comes in the every day part of life – what we often take for granted .. Maybe it is a smile,a word,a gesture by a stranger or by a friend. God does work in mysterious ways,but,God does work. Grace has the ability to transform us and our situation. Sit for five minutes. Even if it feels that it is wasted time and effort,even if we are telling ourselves that the situation is too hopeless,too complicated,too difficult. Even if we feel overwhelmed or exhausted…just take time to be quiet with God .. Give God the opportunity to show up-and He will. We may close our fists and hearts to grace and God when we are caught in the immobilizing space of despair. Consciously we can open our heart,and say yes to Him,the God who loves You more than you know.