God’s Grace Overflows in Trouble

By: Vivian Wilson

Last week I shared with you that God had showed me that I needed to change my perspective relative to the trials and difficult circumstances in my life.  I would be better off in every way if I practiced viewing them through God’s eyes.  And it would be beneficial to do it with gratitude knowing that God is using them to change me and to shape me into the person I was created to be.

GREAT!  AWESOME!  YAY!  I GET IT!

Did I?  I was about to find out.  A “boulder” was about to drop.

Torrential rains came.  Thunderstorms pelted Texas.  Water filled the rivers.  Homes and farmlands were flooded.  More rain came causing the rivers to continue to rise and reach flood stage.  One river, the Brazos, directly affects me.  Daily, for a week now, the warning has been that some homes in Simonton could be flooded.  The river has been at ‘flood stage’ for several days now.

photo courtesy of 7online.com
photo courtesy of 7online.com

This is especially worrisome for me since I sold my house to a wonderful family and we are to close on June 19.  They are leasing it until then so they are the ones who had to prepare for the worst.  They are the ones who stayed in a motel for two nights.  They are the ones who will lose possessions that will need replacing.

So you can imagine all of the anxious thoughts that were going through my mind.  Thoughts about flood insurance, reconstruction, and the closing date flooded my mind.  You can imagine the weight I began to feel slowly settling on my shoulders.  Then I remembered.  I decided to practice what I preached.  (I bet I prayed this prayer one hundred times in this past week. Ps.37).

“Father, I trust you in this situation.  You know what is best.  I will delight myself in you because I know you love me beyond measure and I love you.  I know you are good.  I know you are all-knowing and all-powerful.  I will commit all of my anxiety to you, I lay it at your feet.  I will be still and wait on you.  I will do this with gratitude for this trial and how you will use it to shape me into the person you created me to be.”

Every time I prayed this, my focus and my perspective changed.  My focus went from the impending flood to my God who loves, protects, and delivers me.  My perspective changed.  Instead of something destructive, the rising river and probable consequences became a spring from which wisdom, understanding, and grace bubbled up producing an opportunity for growth by putting truth and wisdom into action.

It was God’s grace, His all-sufficient grace, that prepared me ahead of time to be able to handle this situation without fear and with confidence.  I know it is in answer to my prayer that He would teach me to trust him more.

Proverbs 22:17-19  Pay attention and listen to the sayings of the wise; apply your heart to what I teach, for it is pleasing when you keep them in your heart and have all of them ready on your lips.  So that your trust may be in the Lord,  I teach you today, even you.

Surely, His grace has been overflowing.  The sweet family still loves their home and will close whether it floods or not.  (At this moment it is still possible that the river could overflow its banks in spite of the heroic efforts of volunteers who have faithfully manned four large pumps around the clock for a week).  It is by grace that I have peace.

It goes without saying but is a worthy reminder:  ONLY GOD HAS CONTROL OF THAT RIVER.  It is His hand that has kept it in its banks.

So this is another stone in the road upon which I journey.  It is a stone that has strengthened my trust and dependence on God.  It is a journey empowered by The Spirit and fueled by His grace.  No matter what happens in the next few hours, I will still say, “Thank you, Lord.  Not my will, but yours”.

A work in progress,

Vivian