Grace When We Need It

Have you ever had the feeling you’ve gotten in over your head? Things were going fine. You were just kind of wading out there, when all of a sudden, you hit a drop off and wham!

There’s nothing like total immersion all at once, especially when you didn’t expect it. This happened to me a couple weeks ago. It certainly changes things in a hurry.

Now it wasn’t the kind of earth shattering news you get when you find out you have a serious illness. It wasn’t the sick feeling you get in your gut when you hear someone you know was seriously hurt, or killed.

Moments like that are life changing. You know right then things will never be the same. Think of how we felt when we watched the towers fall back in 2001. But we have people in our community living their own 9-1-1, right now.

I think of Kansas High School’s Alyssa Camp, who battled through a near fatal accident after being hit by a drunk driver. Or Paris High School’s Jake Meister, who’s battled through his own tough year.

Both have endured more than anyone should ever have to, yet both were somehow able to stand proudly at their recent graduations. I’ll bet there were lots of tears there.

Then there’s my friend and mentor, Sergeant Ray Sollars who’s served the community faithfully, longer than anyone else. He’s kept us safe all these years, but now enduring his own tribulation in quiet dignity.

As difficult as it’s been for them, I can’t imagine the toll it takes on their families. We all applaud when people do well in something, and rightfully so. But the real applause should go to those suffering through, and the people who stand with them.

How do they do it? How do they still stand, when it’s that hard, or even impossible? When there’s simply nothing left to do, but kneel and pray?

I believe when we reach that point, it comes down to Grace. Some things, we just can’t do on our own. But God gives us the ability to get through those really tough times. We’ve all seen the proof, lived out right in front of us this past year.

I know Ray is a man of strong faith. And dozens (if not hundreds) of people were praying for Jake and Alyssa, and their families. Their grace and perseverance is an inspiration, and so is the Grace that’s been given them. Thank God for that.

Because His Grace is the only thing I know of that can get us through storms like that. And those storms sure put things in perspective for the rest of us. Little things become just little things again.

And my little thing? It’s not a big deal. I’d signed up for some graduate classes at Liberty University this summer. Typical me. Four of em. Two in each summer term. Dumb.

Twenty-five years ago, I’d had lots of summer classes. No problem. Apparently, I’d forgotten you have to do the same amount of work, but in only half the time. Times two. Did I mention dumb?

After learning about the nine books to read and kazillion papers to write (in just the first term), it took me several days before panic left me (mostly). Talk about your Homer Simpson moment. D’oh!

But like my pastor Troy Warner always says: “God is good, all the time, and all the time, God is good.” Thank God, because we surely need it. So keep those prayers going up. We all need them.

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