This treasure of a book by Grace D. Chong opens our eyes to the everyday happenings in our lives through which we can experience God’s grace. In her Introduction, Grace comments: “Grace is not something we find. Rather, it finds us – but only when we allow ourselves to welcome and be embraced by it. Grace is free, but we cannot find it in ourselves; it is something we can find only in God. And the good news is, we need not buy or earn it; because we could never, ever, afford nor merit it on our own.”
She continues: “With these reflections, I hope to make you realize that you are not alone. You are traversing the route to our eternal home with fellow pilgrims. Every day, you will find here a conversation in which you had or will have a part, or which you have heard or will hear behind a wall. And in these reading moments, grace will find you.”
Here are some excerpts for your inspiration and reflection.
January 11. Everything New
New things make our heart leap with excitement: a new coat of paint, a new outfit, a new hairstyle, a new cellphone, a new baby. These allow us to experience new emotions. And new emotions make us feel more alive because they rouse in us fresh sensations.
“Coming home from the hospital with my new baby,” Kris narrated, “my mother sobbed. She took her first grandson from me and never put him down till he cried for milk.” “The first night we brought home a huge toy dinosaur for our little boy, he slept with it!” Baby said of her son Jason. “Well, I doubt if he was able to sleep at all. He was too excited.”
We all have delightful stories of how we reacted to something new. Now how about if God told us what He promised the House of Israel after His people had disobeyed almost every rule that Moses ever laid down? God said He would bring them back to their land in Ezekiel 36:26-27: “… I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.”
This spoke of God’s immeasurable capacity to forgive people who, for generations, profaned His name and brazenly worshipped graven idols. It shows the Father never giving up on His children. Just as He never gave up on the Israelites for big-time chronic backsliding, He will forgive us, His children – or anyone who comes to Him with a contrite heart, and He will make it new.
The operative word here is NEW. In God, we will become new again – with marvelous fringe benefits: the reality of seeing all things in a fresh way through God’s eyes and experiencing a relationship with Him.
May 6. Lipstick for Mother
“I wear lipstick,” I say in seminars for women, as I hold up my lipstick. “Same here!” some shout from the audience. That breaks the ice. “Okay,” I add, “bring out your lipstick and let’s retouch!” Everyone does, getting into the fun.
Many women can’t leave the house without lipstick on. Many women share this sentiment: “I feel naked without it.” Lipstick graphically symbolizes people’s definition of beauty; we think lipstick makes us pretty.
I suspended this thought when I came upon 1 Peter 3:4…” “… but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.”
Women in general like fashion, the newest in apparel, and cosmetics. Nothing wrong with that. But when we see only what’s outside, and fail to see what the person is inside, we turn blind to what the Lord sees. Our lipstick must never take the place of what makes us truly look beautiful in the eyes of man, and especially in the eyes of God. His discerning eyes see deeper. He looks through our character and knows the best in us and He wants us to understand His concept of true beauty.
October 23. Hidden House Treasures
Tying-loose-ends day is how I call those rare, extremely rare, days I can set aside for doing the teeny odd jobs that I put on the back burner. You’re familiar with some of these: a seam in the drapes that needs re-stitching; notes and receipts that need filing; gift items that need sorting; plastic bags that need unloading; cabinets that need cleaning; buttons that need re-sewing; nail marks on the wall that need retouching; oh, so many things!
So I finally had my long-delayed and much postponed tying-loose-ends day. After doing most of the above, I opened my sewing machine cabinet and what did I find? An unusually heavy pouch, the look of which I don’t remember. Inside it were – coins! Lots and lots of coins! How or when they got there, who put them there (chances are, it was I), why they were there – well, my mind was blank. Counting them took time because they came up to over P3,000! I furiously looked for more hidden treasures and found plastic bags containing … well, that’s for the next tying-loose-ends-day.
God’s Word has so much hidden treasures, it will take a great deal of our time to find them all. We have to set aside a special time every day to look for them. You’ll discover that finding treasures in the Bible will tie many loose ends in your mind. It is an experience that not only delights, but enriches and enlightens, in ways we could never imagine.
Grace Found Me – all 365 entries of it – points you to Him who can give rest to your heart and soul. For a few minutes each day, you can retreat to your own quiet corner and enjoy His soothing embrace. You will be surprised at what and who He can use to remind you that you no longer need to fret.
Amidst the busyness and demands of life, you can feel at peace with God, with yourself, and with others. Discover how like beautiful wildflowers scattered by the roadside, signs of God’s enduring presence and love are sprinkled all around you. You can still smile because you’re home. You’re safe. The grace of God has found you.
GRACE FOUND ME: 365 Thoughts for Busy Women by Grace D. Chong (OMF Literature Inc., Metro Manila, c2010)