Through it all, God’s grace is always sufficient

Published 3:57 pm Friday, June 8, 2018

The writer of Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament had some rather profound observations about life.  Among them he wrote:  “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, New International Version).  As he continues to expound upon that thought, he includes such statements as “A time to plant and a time to uproot” and “A time to weep and a time to laugh” (verses 2,4). 

As Gale and I sat in a large auditorium at Albany Technical College yesterday, both of our minds entertained the thought of how unreal it seemed to be there doing what we were doing—gathering information for her upcoming retirement.  The actual event is a little way down the road, but that season is quickly approaching.  It is so close that her plan is to help just two more groups of four and five year olds begin their journey through the process of education in our local school system.

As we sat and gleaned information about the complicated and convoluted facts about Social Security it was hard to decide if it was a season to weep or laugh.  It seems so unreal that that season is before our very eyes.  As I write, I will be walking away from the computer in a few minutes to take my wife for foot surgery.  I used to think that going to the podiatrist was mostly for old folks.  I probably had best revise my thinking on that topic!

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Last Friday we got a call regarding a family tragedy in north Georgia.  An eighteen year old grandson of my wife’s sister and another eighteen year old young man had gone under the turbulent rain swollen muddy waters of a tributary of the Oconee River and were presumed drowned.  We drove to Athens to spend some time with the boy’s mother on Monday.  What do you say to a grieving mother whose son has been pulled underwater somewhere out there but not yet located even as a devoted crew continued to search for the two of them?  Three days of waiting and wondering must surely seem like a long season of life under such grueling circumstances.  In the back of her mind the mother hoped that somehow a miracle would find them alive along the river bank, but the call on Tuesday morning brought that remote hope to an end.  Now the family is in that season of trying to make sense of it all, deal with their grief, and somehow begin to carry on with life.

All of us face a variety of events in life, some that make us laugh and some that tear us apart at the seam.  But we are blessed with the truth that no matter what life brings our way, God is very near and able to walk us through every step of the journey of life.  He remains in control even when everything seems to us to be completely out of control.  I like what one writer had to say about trusting God:  “The joy of faith lies in answered prayer.”  Along that same line, the Bible records in Psalm 118:  “I will give You [God] thanks, for You answered me; You have become my salvation” (verse 21).

Some seasons in life are anticipated and we can make proper plans and preparations, while others are sudden and without prior notice.  I have experienced both in recent days, perhaps you have too.  But through it all, God’s grace, comfort, and help always prove to be adequate.