Through the cracked looking glass

Mowing accident

Mowing accident

Thirty minutes into Matt’s first excursion on our new lawnmower, the kids and I jump at a loud smack on a nearby window. Lauren starts crying as I realize what just happened, and I run outside like a crazy person trying to get my husband’s attention and direct it toward the collateral damage.

New lawnmower. New hole in the window. New frustration. New ways to spend more money.

That’s one way to see the spiderweb cracks in the window.

I can also choose to see the blessings through the broken glass.

We have double pane windows, and the rock that hurtled toward the house only went through one layer. My daughter was sitting right inside from this window playing Starfall on the computer, and could have been hit by the rock or shattered glass had it just been a single pane. God’s protection in this instance is marked by a broken window.

Believe me, I know life can be frustrating. We go through seasons when what could go wrong does, and we wonder if we’ll ever be able to catch a break.

Maybe the break we need isn’t a way out. God hasn’t left us. His blessings still surround us. We may just have to look through the broken glass rather than at the cracks.

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.

– John 16:33

God is not a risk-taker

Risk puts us on the line. As much as we plan and evaluate, there is an unknown factor in every decision we make.

My husband and I dealt with the fear of risk this week, as we tried to determine what would be best for our daughter. She had taken a hard fall, and was exhibiting signs of a concussion. We were scared and worried for her as we waited in the ER, and wanted to make sure she would be OK. We were beyond stressed, and our list of pros and cons over a certain course of action went back and forth. It’s one of the few times, ever, that I’ve seen my husband cry. God calmed our hearts as we prayed, and then made a decision.

The next day as we were all recuperating, incredibly grateful that Lauren was getting back to her normal self, I thought about risk and how the events of the last 24 hours had unfolded. As I spent time thanking God for protecting Lauren and guiding us, I realized this:

God is not a risk-taker.

And, I incorrectly consider God’s grace on my terms.

God doesn’t evaluate situations like I do. God doesn’t get surprised or overwhelmed. God doesn’t base His love and provision on the risk and potential rewards. He sees the beginning, middle and end. God already knows.

So, when God chooses to extend His grace into my life and yours, He doesn’t do it because we deserve it or there will be some payoff in the end. He loves, He forgives, He protects, He provides, He purifies because that is who He is.

This is hard to understand. When evaluating a situation, I am taught to consider risk and if it is worth it. And, when I consider God’s grace in my life, the risk seems to outweigh the reward. I am a sinner. How could Jesus put His life on the line and sacrifice it all, knowing that I will fail him?

God doesn’t have a notebook in heaven with a line down the middle of the page, sketching out the positive and negative results of potential actions. He loves lavishly. He gives generously. His mercy is unending. His victory is sure.

When all I see is risk, I miss God’s grace. God’s love is not a gamble, it is a certainty.

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.

– Hebrews 14:16