The child grew in size and strength,
filled with wisdom,
and the grace of God was upon him.
From Luke 2:36-40
As the New Year approaches, my thoughts turn to my hopes and dreams, worries and fears for 2014. I have been blessed with an inner calm that I really cannot explain. Still, I fret with the best of them on occasion, especially when a loved one faces peril that I can do nothing about. Most recently, my own recuperation from shoulder surgery shook me a bit. Though my recovery has gone very well, the challenge of getting through the painful milestones along the way has tested my endurance repeatedly. Normally when this occurs, I head outdoors to walk. Because close encounters with slippery walks are out of the question just now, I have sought my solace indoors at the mall and the large lower level of our church.
My walks are not a retreat from my troubles. Indeed, they are just the opposite. It is while I am embraced by a soft summer breeze or a gust of winter cold that I feel most like the child of whom Luke wrote so long ago. Even indoors, I find myself engulfed by the goodness around me. Though I have grown neither as wise nor as strong as Jesus did, I do have the grace of God upon me. Jesus himself convinced me of this by the way he lived his life among us. His lessons regarding God’s love assure me every time that my loved ones and I will be fine after all. You see, God’s grace is upon us all.
Good and Gracious God, I thank you for the grace you provide within all of our circumstances. Your presence enhances the best and worst of our days. Your love enhances our best efforts and softens our sinfulness. You draw goodness even from our imperfections.
©2013 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved