Friday, January 3, 2014

Adjusting with Grace...

As we enter into 2014 and look back on 2013, many of us have had to or will have to make some expected and unexpected adjustments. I had to adjust from running in +30C weather to -17C on snow covered trails (with the odd deer passing by!). Some of these adjustments were successful, some a little more painful-but if there is one thing that I have learned this past year-it is how to adjust with grace.  

My new running trail...sharing it with deer!

I have not always been willing to adjust with grace-no, at times I resist not wanting to adjust, "Why must I always be the one who has to adjust?", I whine.  In our projects we have to adjust to bad roads, unpredictable breakdowns, staff sickness and beneficiaries not always cooperating.  I am very proud of our staff for adjusting when we had to-many times exemplifying grace that only God can provide.  
Adjusting to running in the cold and snow...
However, the hardest adjustments came in the form of loss. In early Spring we lost one of our CDF's (Community Development Facilitators), suddenly to sickness.  James was a great worker, engaged with the community and had a true heart for his work and for Christ.  A couple months later, we as a family lost one of our security guards.  Our house has four security guards that have been with us since 2005 when we arrived.  David got really sick and passed after fighting a month of sickness.  He too was a strong man of faith-it was heartbreaking to tell my boys that their 'uncle' had died.  The final adjustment that I am still hard to adjust to-is the sudden loss of our finance officer David MacDonald-a fellow Canadian who died of a heart attack over Christmas holidays. Again, as a parent, the hardest thing to see is your kids try to deal with such devastating loss.

These blows to our heart are the hardest to adjust-never mind with grace.  I was reminded over the holidays (by my amazing sister-in law) that God gives grace to handle every day. I visualized it as a huge bowl brimming to the very top full of grace. Available for us to draw on at anytime. He knows exactly how much we need for that day-and it never runs out, the bowl is never empty. And if we use some of it-the next day it's full again. He soaks us with his grace when our tears flow, when we are angry and ask difficult questions and when we wonder how we can keep going on.

You see, it's easy to adjust to the good things, like a new plane this year that has made travel a lot easier for all of us, new families and staff that have joined our team and how God has faithfully supplied us with resources to keep doing what He wants us to do!  Oh yeah, grace is flowing easy when things are going smoothly, when everyone is healthy and when the roads are clear.  I am sure all of us look back at 2013 and remember the sudden adjustments that were great and those that were painful.  But God's grace is there, everyday, that big bowl full to the brim just waiting for us to dip our cups in.

2014 is starting with an adjustment without David our finance officer, our friend.  It is not going to be easy-but I know I need to adjust with grace, or it will be a long year!  Plus, I know David wouldn't want it any other way :)  We have three SP staff members training for the London Marathon-for Kendell and Joni it will be their first-trust me they will have to adjust!  And I know there will be plenty of unexpected adjustments that are just waiting to jump out of their boxes in the next 12 months.

Many people make resolutions, to adjust their lives for the better, to change.  But I want to challenge you that when those life altering adjustments come this year, dip into the bowl and let His grace adjust you.  In a few weeks I will run the farthest I ever have-and throughout that 70km/44miles there will be plenty of adjustments that I am going to have to make. I am glad that I am starting the year with a long run that will make me practice what I preach that will lead me to His grace.

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