Grace will lead
“Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
‘Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.”— John Newton
Two weeks ago today, I was able to worship with our church family for the first time in a month. Because Matt still had fluid on his lungs and was not allowed to go (per doctor’s orders), Jeff stayed with him and I went alone. But once I got there, I was not alone. I sat between two of my Christian sisters who have been providing me with unfailing emotional support for years.
That morning, as we sang the lovely words quoted above, of course I thought of my own family and all we have been through for the past 18 months. But more than that, I thought of the remarkable women sitting on either side of me, singing these words they have lived out before my eyes.
One of these sisters endured the unfaithfulness of a spouse who left her for her erstwhile best friend, and as if that were not enough, their son was later shot through the head, miraculously surviving extensive damage, although he now is blind for life. The other sister cared for her son through years of muscular dystrophy, before he died in his late twenties.
Here’s the amazing part: both these women did far more than survive these heartbreaks. They are two of the most consistently cheerful, positive and faith-filled people I know. Both of them tell me it took years of struggle and bitterness to get where they now are. When I thank them for providing me with such an inspiring example of fortitude, both tell me that only the grace of God can explain it.
As an aside, my friend’s son who now lives with blindness is one of the most jovial people you will ever meet. He never fails to spread joy, faith and hope with his public and private comments to his brothers and sisters at church services.
With such examples in my life, how can I NOT feel blessed and upheld?
Look around you – I feel certain you, too, have such sources of strength in your world. Seek out these people. Embrace them, watch them, witness the lessons they teach — usually without a word — as they continue on a life journey fraught with dangers, toils and snares.
Grace will lead us home, and we will not get there alone. We are “surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses” to inspire us as we face obstacles and challenges. Let’s be part of that group spreading hope and faith as we survive, and even thrive, throughout whatever we may be facing.
One year ago today: