February 7, 2023

Rhonda Patterson
"To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his saints: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."
Romans 1:7

Being so deeply loved by God and called to His purposes can be hard to comprehend. We can tend to look behind at our past a bit too much instead of at our present and future with Him. When I feel God calling me into something new, my past mistakes and failures are there to quickly assure me that I’m not capable of going where God’s leading me. And I find myself at a threshold with a decision to make…stay put (in my comfort zone where I feel safe)…OR trust and follow Him.

This past week, as the ice storm was ravaging our beautiful hill country, I took a walk down our road. All around me, I could hear and see a constant symphony of cracks, pops, and thunderous whooshing as limbs and trees collapsed under the weight of the ice. When it was over, most everyone had been affected, and some were hit hard with damage to vehicles, homes, and power outages. This is the broken world we live in, and our lives have similarly been devastated at times either by sinful choices we have made or circumstances that we find ourselves in through no fault of our own.

As saints of God, Paul reminds us of two benefits we have under the weight of any circumstance — divine grace and peace. Grace upon grace that covers any poor choice we’ve ever made or will make. If God graces me — who am I to withhold it from myself or others? And peace — the peace that is unexplainable given the circumstance, and the peace that gives us the confidence to take a step where we know God is leading us, despite our past. Just as our community is cleaning and restoring the beautiful hill country from the ravages of this week’s storm…God is redeeming and restoring the very things in our lives that the enemy intended to destroy us with.

Father, help us to grasp more and more how wide, how high, and how deep your love is for us. May we choose today to receive your immeasurable grace over our past, our present, and our future. And we thank you for the peace that you blanket us with in every season.