Grace abounds

My friend Rachel and I keep each other accountable for reading our Bibles everyday. Sometimes it still doesn’t happen, but there’s tomorrow to try again. That means that I have an app that sends her a text everyday at the same time, and she responds with what she read that day. Then I tell her what I read. She’s in 1 Corinthians, and I’m in 2 Kings.

Today I read the passage where some boys make fun of Elisha, and a bear comes and mauls them.

“What am I supposed to do with that?” I texted her.

This was her response.

Rachel text short

She also concluded that she should have been mauled thousands of times by now. “Grace abounds.” Me too, Rachel, me too.

And if that actually was the meaning of including that story about Elisha in the Bible–that bear mauling is the penalty for making fun of someone–then grace certainly does abound.

So, in a way, 2 Kings 2 does connect to my life today, because grace has been abounding over the past few weeks. Remember when I told you that I was ready to tell the story of how God was going to provide a job for me? I have an installment to that story today.

I expected to be waiting a while for any developments in this story, because that’s realistic. You graduate, there are no jobs available. Okay, maybe there are a few. You apply, no one gets back to you. You follow up, no one gets back to you. Two months later they’re ready to interview. This is the story of hiring in many places these days.

I was ready for that. I was ready to wait. Not necessarily excited about it, but I know that the right job will come at the right time because it always has.

It’s easy to get discouraged while you’re waiting. Because you aren’t really actively doing the waiting, you’re waiting for the action. There’s not much to waiting, except being ready for something to come along. So you wait, and the next day you get up and do your laundry and wait again.

So the days are long, and when you look back and see it’s only been three weeks of waiting, you wonder how much longer you can take it.

I’ve been amazed at the little things God has sent along to encourage me, in the truest sense of the word, ‘amaze.’

Here’s a snapshot of why:

Week 1: There was Christmas and a couple editing projects to work on, for which I would be paid.

Week 2: Followed up with an application and got an auto-response that said the person was out of office and had been for a while but would be back in two weeks. Hope rose. My computer started freaking out for real, but my friend Adam said he could help me fix it, and actually it’d be better than before. I got paid for one of those editing projects. I got another to work on.

Week 3: Adam got my computer into shipshape and for way less than the fancy Apple people would have charged me. I got a shift at my retail job, a friend asked if she could pray for me before I left her house, the next day a former supervisor from an internship emailed to say positions were opening but not posted yet and someone had asked if I would submit my resumé. Was scheduled for more hours the following week.

Then this week. I heard from my former supervisor that the hiring process was really slow, but she was hopeful for me. I’d been thinking this weekend, What if I’m still waiting in a month? Can I be okay with that? Sure. I can be okay with that. Some things are worth the wait. It’s always been worth waiting.

Last night I got to work, and my boss asked me if I would accept a temporary lead position. She thinks I’m capable. It’s a pay raise. It’s a challenge, and I didn’t even have to ask.

I didn’t even have to ask. Grace does abound. This time it’s not me not getting mauled by a bear. Maybe that’s more mercy. Maybe this is more kindness, generosity. Even though God could just make me wait for the right job in the right time without all this hand-holding and back-patting, he’s reminding me every few days that something is coming, and until then, he’ll keep providing and encouraging.

I don’t think we expect that out of God, that he’s going to be generous, maybe even coddle us a little bit. I often think of God as the tough love parent. Sometimes, he is that, letting us endure the consequences of our actions. That can be the most effective teacher. But sometimes God is the one who holds our hands when he could let us flounder a bit.

So today, I’m encouraged. God has encouraged me, knowing that in a few weeks I might be back to discouragement in spite of these incredible reasons to trust. Grace and generosity abound.

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