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Last March, while in the hospital recovering
from the surgery to remove the tumors on his colon, a friend brought Duwayne a small potted plant. The tag labeled it as a South African Freesia. They are as beautiful when ladened with bright yellow bulbs as they are with their elegant blooms. Immediately, I felt the atmosphere in hospital room lighten, but not just because of the plant.

Along with the Fressia, this friend brought the story of her own experience with chronic, terminal illness. She was familiar with the struggle ahead of Duwayne and me. She was also familiar with God’s grace that enabled her to live through and live beyond her fight.

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. The Apostle Paul learned to live by these words which came from a very present and loving Heavenly Father. He learned during a time of agonizing need, the exact nature of which is uncertain. But, whatever his ailment, I believe we can learn through our own weaknesses…hardships…difficulties that God will strengthen us Himself in all we face. His grace will rain upon us.

Two days ago, Duwayne and I went for a walk even though we knew it might rain. Eventually it did, though it was light. We pulled our hoodies over our heads, held hands and walked in mud while talking about how amazed we were that we made it through so much with what we thought was so little. We laughed at our “poor love”, pun intended. In effect though, we were amazed at how much God’s grace saturated our lives. It saturates the life of the friend who brought the Freesia and it saturates yours as well.

Like Paul, we oftentimes pray for a change of circumstance and our request is not granted. Instead, God in His wisdom says to us My grace is sufficient for you…He wants us to relinquish our meagre strength in order to live by His enabling.

Of course, this is easier said than done; however, I learned something else during our walk that will make this ‘giving over’ to God easier for me and hopefully, for you. I was enjoying the walk this weekend until it began to rain. So distraced by the rain, I paid no attention to what Duwayne was saying to me. I began to walk faster and tried to drag him along, insisting that I would get soaked. He responded, ” …a little rain won’t hurt you…” Realizing he was right, I slowed down (a little), re-engaged in the conversation and eventually we got home – happy and safe.

Now, I don’t think “a little rain” is necessarily anagolous to what you or I am going through (perhaps torrent would be more suitable), but certainly we can draw from the experience just shared. When hardship rains upon us, God won’t always allow our circumstances to change to suit our needs. We have no choice but to keep on walking in the rain – to live – in the discomfort and pain. Yet, God’s intention is not to hurt us. For with with the same rain that we are certain will wash away all hope and ruin our lives comes an outpouring of grace and more grace. Yes, His grace rains upon us and is sufficient to get us home.

Be encouraged.

Relinquish your meagre strength and abide in Him.

You have who and what it takes to make it – a very present and loving Heavenly Father and His powerful grace.

For more upliftment, click on the following link and watch the video at the top of the page. It’s a discussion around a book called ‘One Thousand Gifts’ by Ann Voskamp. She discusses the childhood ordeal with which she begins her book: http://www.incourage.me/category/bloom