December #jammed: Free Grace.
Day 365: Warm it back up.
“How great is God? Beyond our understanding.” Job 36:26
This last entry of the year has me staring at a cold cup of coffee, at 2 pm in the afternoon. Many cups of coffee have gone cold sitting here in pursuit of spreading the encouraging love of Jesus. Throughout the year, I just kept warming it back up. I didn’t give up and dump it out. I never gave up on this devo series. THAT …is a miracle.
I proudly wore Jonah as my favorite Bible character until I grew to understand that he ran from God. From then on I deemed him a “how could he do that” and crossed him off the “favorites” list.
But someone once told me that what we criticize we often struggle with ourselves.
I’m a total runner.
Today’s verse is from Job. Job and I became buddies this year. I watched him suffer at the hand of tragedy and sickness and mistreatment from friends. It was all so unwarranted. Why couldn’t that have happened to Jonah?
But wait …that’s me.
We’re reminded in today’s verse that we can’t outrun God’s love. We can’t even understand where it begins and where it ends, let alone how to scathe it.
I deserve the kind of sufferring that Job endured. We all deserve the suffering that sin negates. When we don’t get what we deserve, we are the first to cry, “no fair!” But when we claim something we didn’t earn, there is a hesitation. When we receive too much change at the restaurant, or find a wad of money on the ground at the amusement park, or see a friend getting teased or hear them getting thrown under the bus. Something in us knows we have a chance, in those moments, to do the right thing.
“Thank you so much!” the man replied to my daughter, as she handed him a hug wad of rolled up cash that had fallen out of his pocket on his way to sit down and eat lunch. She came back to the table with a smile on her face.
“It feels so good to help someone out like that, doesn’t it” I asked her.
“Yep,” she said.
“You know, not everyone would have done the same thing,” I told her, “I’m so proud of you.”
We have the chance to do the right thing, to stick it out, to stop talking, to hug someone that’s hurting, to pick up the money and give it back. And when that happens, we are doing what we’re put on this earth to do. Love people.
It’s never a coincidence that we notice.
Life happens to let Jesus be known. When we’re cold, He will warm us back up. We notice ways to be kind because that is the key to warming our lives. A warm cup of coffee is joy to my soul. A warm act of kindness is Jesus’ love on earth. Coffee can always be warmed up, and so can we. We just need to keep going, keep looking around, keep noticing…
Father, Praise You for giving us more than we deserve. Thank You for Job, who teaches us how to suffer well, even when it’s not deserved. Forgive us for turning a blind eye when we “notice” an opportunity to love in Your name. Bless us to live lives full of noticing. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace!
Happy New Year,
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