Being able, perhaps compelled, to rest in God’s arms after the death of my son was no accomplishment of mine, but was God’s grace alone. Now, in the months following that death, this text reminds me I’m faced with the challenge “not to accept the grace of God in vain.”
How to embrace both the pain and the grace, and then move forward in life is a struggle. In a time of tragedy, it is hard both to find and to give comfort that is meaningful and helpful. Sometimes words are not enough; sometimes they are too much. Sometimes a hug or just being with a struggling person is the best way to demonstrate God’s presence. Having the courage to reach out to people who are troubled for any reason is the best way to pass forward God’s grace so that it not be in vain.
This text reminds us that life is not always easy, the work can be hard, painful, even exhausting, but at all times, we live in God’s presence with God’s gracious assistance and with the expectation of abundant joy.
Gracious God, you are present within us and in all we do. Give us the courage to share generously with people in our communities so they too may know your merciful, steadfast and forgiving love. Amen — SB