Debbie Salter Goodwin
Interrupted by Grace
I never expected what happened one morning of last December. I was up early as normal to begin my writing morning with an Advent meditation from a writer I follow.
The scripture was a familiar focus for Advent. It’s the “Comfort ye, Comfort ye” scripture from Isaiah 40. I looked at the familiar words and didn’t think there could be anything new there for me. Frankly, I was a little disappointed.
But when I read the next line, the words became a light, a fire, a balm.
For me, it was as if God, Himself, stepped into my room, sat beside ;me, put his arm around me and whispered it.
There was no explanation. I didn’t need any. I knew exactly what my message was.
In that moment I realized I’ve pushed all my life. Pushed to get through college. Pushed to be competent in career jobs. Pushed to get help for Lisa. Pushed to keep the home organized. Pushed to get meals on the table. Pushed to make deadlines. I haven’t pushed to get ahead. I’ve just pushed to do what I thought I was supposed to do.
And here was the Word of the Lord saying: You don’t have to push any more.
I heard it. I heard so deep in my heart that my whole body went limp. I sat stunned. Wordless.
God had raised His mirror and let me see what He saw and I didn’t like the picture.
Understanding precedes acceptance. “Guilty as charged,” I agreed.
But God wasn’t rubbing my nose in what I did wrong. He was lifting my sights to realize that I can never work hard enough for what God simply wants to give.
Grace found me that December day as the loving reach of God. It was the interruption I didn’t know I needed. Grace was love in a warning. I could keep pushing, but with this understanding, the push would be all mine. I understood that God doesn’t want me harried, stressed, or pushed. He especially doesn’t want me to blame Him for it.
Because of that interruption, I am learning new rhythms. I finally understand that trying to “push through” is not always God’s answer. Sometimes I need to stop and walk away. Sometimes I need to play and waste time. Sometimes I just need to take a nap.
Be warned: God has an interruption of grace for you. He will show you where the script you’ve memorized is not where His fulfillment lives. It is a rescue not a reprimand. Embrace it for you will find God's amazing grace in that reach.