A book that has had a big impact on my life is The Discipline of Grace by Jerry Bridges. I first read this while on a mission trip to North Africa after my freshman year of college. One thing he talks about is how we need to preach the gospel to ourselves everyday. I find that to be true because for some reason I still tend to believe that my goodness matters to God. Although God is pleased when I obey Him, spend time with Him and so on, these things in no way change His love for me or make me more deserving of grace. That's just it I do not deserve grace. My best days, those where I do, say and think the right things, are no different than my worst days when I can't seem to get anything right. No mater which kind of day I am having I still need God's grace and I still need a Savior.
The girls have been sick for what seems like most of the winter, nothing major just cough and cold symptoms. I have finally discovered why I don't like it when they are sick, I can't control it. I can't help it, I can't make it go away and it affects every aspect of my life. Last week the girls were sick all week and undoubtedly it was a bad week. I was grumpy, tired, stir crazy and just plain having a bad week. I was very well aware just how much I needed God's grace but still didn't necessarily change my behavior or attitude. I was not a good example to my girls of so many of the character traits I want my girls to possess.
The great thing about God's grace is that because we all need it all the time there is no disqualification for being used by God. Just as Rahab was used to save the Israelite spys in the midst of her sinful life, God can choose to redeem our bad days for His glory. I had the privilege of experiencing this last week. We were having a pretty good day after what had been a rather long, grumpy week and the girls and I sat down to eat our lunch. We are working on memorizing 1 John 4:19 for the month and I asked Emma to fill in the words I left out. She said something about God dying for us and although that is not what the verse says it began a life changing conversation with Lydia.
We have talked with Lydia on several different occasions about salvation and how we all sin and need a Savior. Up to this point she has had no interest in praying to receive Christ as her Savior but this time was different. Whether it was the fact that it was a bad week and she really understood that none of us are without sin or that I went over the bridge diagram with her, this time Lydia did want to pray the special prayer. She repeated a prayer after me and in what I believe to be all the sincerity a 4 1/2 year old can have asked Jesus to be her personal Savior. I was stunned that she actually wanted to and was overjoyed to be the one to help her cross the line into faith in Christ. Though I recognize my job is not done (far, far from it) I do believe that children have a great capacity to believe and have faith in God. I am so blessed that God can use any moment for His purposes and He can redeem a sinner like me into a vessel to be used for kingdom purposes. Thank you God for Your unfailing love and abundant grace in my life.