Last week, I wrote about how we need to be using our devices for good and not evil. However, the lines of evil have been blurred lately right? We tend to live on the spectrum of building ourselves up and judging others; a scope flush with angry assumptions that build walls instead of tearing them down. My last post gave a little insight as to why we don't bring ourselves to God when we're mad but why we totally should.
In our anger, believers should remember three things:
Christ has already won (John 16:33)
Ask why? to learn how to pray (1 Thessalonians 5:21)
Pray, so we can act out our faith (James 2:22)
We remember these things because we are all stewards of God's grace in various forms (1 Peter 4:10). As I say all the time, whatever the church is not willing to do, the world will fill the gaps. I'd like to take the idea in 1 Peter 4:10 and talk about how we should cultivate seeds.
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10
In your own life, what are the various forms of God's grace you have received? I will list a few of my own below:
2010: I married Army PFC Josh Wetzel with no earthly idea how to have a healthy relationship, manage finances, or make my own decisions
2011: Per the orders of the Army, I moved with my new husband to Tacoma, Washington to start the life of all the things I didn't know how to do
2012: My relationship with God became real because Josh was almost killed on his deployment. I moved to Washington DC to help Josh rehabilitate with no clue if he would ever be independent again
2013: I had my first baby, completely terrified to be someone else's mother
2014: We left the hospital in Washington DC and moved to Auburn, Alabama ready to start life our way. We had no idea how much responsibility it would actually take.
2015: Josh went back to college, I started working in another city, we were miserable and so far away from God
2016: I became pregnant with my second child when I was sure that my marriage was over
2017: My grandfather and best buddy died
2018: Josh and I found ourselves in need of serious grace by realizing how expensive our sin was. We got baptized together which prepared us for the challenges we have faced since.
2019: My career in NCAA volleyball came to a heartbreaking end and my grandmother died.
2020: ....enough said
Grace, in various forms. These are just the mile markers, by the way. These don't even include the daily grace I've needed to deal with my immaturity in marriage, raising children, and mountains of laundry. I needed God's grace to help me understand my suffering is not a punishment, to love when I didn't feel loved, to drive me into His arms, to help me pursue God when I felt selfish, and, above all, not give me the punishment I deserve for my sins.
Once we have experienced the abounding grace of God, we should desire that experience for all believers, especially those who battle with knowing and believing God's Word. Make no mistake, there is only one way to get to the Father and that is through Christ Jesus, but Christ is a pursuer and he uses grace in many forms as the vehicle of pursuit. God met me drowning in my sin and misfortune and extended grace every single time. Even when I wasn't that thankful for it. So if we are to pursue the hearts of others, we have to be willing to go beyond spreading seeds. We have to prepare, cultivate, and water until we see it through to a harvest.
Anyone can plant a seed, but who loves it enough to see it through? Sometimes, we think we are spreading the Gospel, but we are actually doing this:
Tossing little specks of hope at hurt and skeptical souls with a "best of luck! God bless you" and the seeds are on their own. Cultivating that seed when the soil might be tarnished from trauma, church hurt, or just finding Jesus a little weird probably looks a lot more like this: