“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).
I am glad 2015 is complete. As I ponder the new year I have decided to focus on two words– strength and grace.
Strength: “the ability to resist being moved or broken by a force; the quality that allows someone to deal with problems in a determined and effective way.”
I chose strength because when living with chronic illness we often feel weak. Our bodies revolt, family and friends don’t always understand the complexities of our illness, and we become frustrated. Living with chronic illness requires great strength–physically, spiritually and emotionally.
Grace: “a way of moving that is smooth and attractive and that is not stiff or awkward; a controlled, polite and pleasant way of behaving.”
Grace is favor, the free and undeserved help that God gives us to respond to his call to become children of God. God desires us to have grace, we have not earned it.
Grace seemed to choose me as it resonated during my reading. Grace–polite behaving, but better yet a gift from God to allow His help, His mercies, and His forgiveness upon us.
I learned many things in 2015, but one of the biggest was I cannot function in this world without God.
He is there when I celebrate victories, but also present when I am in my darkest hours.
The challenge for me is to remember this.
I can count several times in which I failed to seek God in my most vulnerable state. And that inaction was not helpful, rather it was destructive, leaving me wallowing in self pity.
I think we all have moments when we feel sorry for ourselves; whether it be from a lost relationship, life event, or chronic illness. Wallowing does not move us foreword and it serves little usefulness. We must garner strength and persevere, with the graces God provides.
Prayer: Dear Lord, forgive me when I fail. Support me as I continue to do Your work and help me remember that Your grace is an amazing gift. Amen.
About the author:
Laura Seil Ruszczyk lives in New York with her husband and three kids. She retired from her job as an elementary school counselor in 2012. She is finishing writing a book about her journey with dysautonomia, the deregulation of the autonomic nervous system.
When do you find God’s graces most helpful?
This is “That Was Then, This is Now” with Josh Wilson and he shares below the story behind the song as well. As I listened to this song and heard the lyrics, it reminded me of how we can reflect back to who we were even just a few days ago and take what we have learned and say “that was then, this is now.” Do you feel like you are moving forward? Learning something new and being able to apply it to life? There will be times when we are stuck, but overall, even if our body isn’t getting better, we can always work on who we are spiritually. Hoping for a blessed new year for each of us. -Lisa