The Conquering Grace Of Jesus

Have you ever been caught up in a moment of slow motion perception, where time seems to slow down? We’ve all seen this play out in movies, as moments build towards a climatic scene. While we know that time does not truly slow down, researchers suggest that because our memories and perceptions of what’s taking place are densely packed during a particular situation, the whole event seems to take longer. I had one of those moments tonight, and though I do not discount ideas of neuroscience and time perception, I believe that God heightened my senses to uncover the unnecessary weight pressing on my heart.

My 9-year-old daughter told me that she had a solution for getting all of the tangles out of her hair (she is full of solutions these days). She explained that if I poured a shallow bath, she would lie down in the bathtub, and I could brush through her hair while it was underwater. Given that her hair is long and curly, I was eager to give it a try. I began to comb through each strand, which seemed to stretch the entire length of the tub. And, time became slow. I recall the slow rhythmic movements of the water along the circumference of the tub, the slicing of its surface as I combed beneath it. I remember the giggles of my little girl as she delighted in her ‘solution,’ while the ends of the comb tickled her scalp. Taking all of this in, however, my heart felt confounded.

In the days leading up to this moment, I had been praying for God to sustain a sweet friend’s pregnancy so that she could carry her baby to full term. Sadly, she delivered, and the baby died. I had heard of the tragic passing of a friend’s spouse at 33. A friend revealed that she had tried to kill herself, and another shared that her teenage child had started having sex. Without being directly affected by any of these, I felt the sting of pain, suffering and death. I was perplexed, baffled, overwhelmed and scared.

What I know about this life makes me want to take every moment and wring it out—every ounce of goodness, laughter, and even the tensions of discipline, hurt and frustration, because pain and death come unannounced.

While my heart continues to be pricked by the affliction of my friends, God reminds me—He writes our faith. Not only that, He perfects it. Clearly, this implies that we cannot come up with it on our own. Faith and hope are found when we acknowledge the chaos of hell around us, embrace it, and say, “I can’t, God.” What seems impossible to most of us is the ‘embracing it’ part, and understandably so.

In other words, we may not feel better or experience a change in our circumstances when we cry out to God. Yet, we find that we are somehow sustained, as we make it to the next hour, the next day, the next week. It’s peculiar, because we cannot articulate it. It is not our constant striving. It is not the result of a strong will or by simply pushing through. It is the conquering grace of Jesus—the favor that disregards shame, all of our stops and starts, our angst, doubts, questioning, and bitter tears.

“From the ends of the Earth, I call to You, when my heart is overwhelmed and weak; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I [a rock that is too high to reach without Your help].”

{Psalm 61 – AMP}

In writing this psalm, David knew that he could not be fixed upon the Rock of salvation, unless God placed him there. Thus, he came with a cry, a desperate, earnest plea for God to lead him to a place of comfort that he couldn’t reach, no matter how hard he tried. Like David, may our weeping and strife quicken our praying—not deaden it.

Pray –

To the fountain of all comfort, Jesus, our hearts are overcome today. When affliction is all over us and encompasses us as a cloud, when it seems to swallow us like the sea and envelope us in thick darkness, help us know and experience your grace that sustains and conquers…

“A seeking soul should at once believe in Jesus, but it is legitimate for a man to ask to be led to Jesus; the Holy Spirit is able to effect such a leading, and he can do it even though the heart be on the borders of despair. We may be low and groveling, but the God of our salvation towers like a tall cliff far above us. This is His glory and our delight.” [Spurgeon].

Summer Pendley

Hi there 🙂 I'm Summer, daughter of Jesus...saved, restored, & known by Him. I've been married to my love, Jason, for 15 years, and am a happy mommy to a son, Noah, and daughter, Sailer. I love quiet mornings, coffee, listening to music, reading, running, and dreaming 😉 I'm passionate about simple things, and making time to encourage and love others well. The intentionality of Jesus, in pursuing me, hemming me in, gathering the ruins of my life, and lavishing grace over me overwhelms me daily. You'll find me here, in story after story of Him rescuing me, loving me, teaching me, and drawing me into worship. In honesty, I'll share of the emotional and psychological strains of my life & how Jesus continues to reclaim & rebuild, from the inside out. Let me always speak of His faithfulness & that you will know that He is good.

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