Today, I struggled, not wanting to go to church. Not because of yesterday's rants and raves - those are minor frustrations in the Long Haul. I hesitated because other hopes hiccuped and that feeling of helplessness set in fast. A former foster dog is on the run. We can see her but not get her to come to us and that's disappointing for her, her family, and us. God willing, she'll return or come to one of us soon.
But, just when I think God's not paying attention, I've accepted my own personal invitation to a pity party, knocked on the door, and He opens it with a "Surprise"! Today I heard what we all should realize is so very, very true:
Mercy is that God does not give us what we deserve. Grace is that God gives us what we do not deserve.
Re-read those two sentences until they truly sink in and you are amazed at the stunning clarity. Be humble. And so it is, I know God has every right to throw the book of criticism at me as He gives me a good scolding for my lack of appreciation. I know He has His hand out and is not sprinkling me with grace. He is dousing me with it. While I have been poo-pooing what goes on He has allowed it and continued to take care of me. My travels have been safe. My searches have been safe and even promising. My heart has been filled with encouragement to continue.
Some would say that asking for prayer for bringing home a lost pet is mis-use of time and prayer. But God doesn't think so. By my going to church today I found the time I needed to have that message reinforced and to boldly ask others for their prayers about this. God's work is always amazing. It's difficult to grasp His direction because we are so "in the now". But, He is at work. Maybe someone I asked to pray for little Sally will do it and be changed. Maybe Sally is out there for reasons we do not comprehend. Maybe she is His message this week.
Look for the lost in your life. Do something so they are found. May your actions roar!
As you do for the least of these, so you do to our Lord.