In The Grip of Grace

grace-header

It was a Sunday morning, we were running late for church and she just appeared out of nowhere. My friend Paul, who was behind the wheel, saw her too late. She was already in the middle of the road. We had just completed overtaking a lorry, the car was now doing 100 KPH and she was about 100 meters in front of us. We had to think fast. Well, at least Paul had to. He figured that since it was a dual carriage highway and the woman was already halfway across, he would switch lanes and move to the lane that she had just finished crossing. It was a reasonable, split-second, decision.

Unfortunately, the middle aged woman didn’t see it the same way. As the car switched lanes, there was a point when it looked like we were headed straight for her. She panicked and did the unimaginable. Instead of continuing in her initial direction, she suddenly stopped and started running back. She was now on the same lane we were on. The gap between the woman and the car was closing, less than 50 meters now. I held my breath and prepared for the worst.

The next thing I remember (albeit vaguely) is the car skidding on the wet tarmac and seeing a small tree heading straight for us. The tree hit the car, or rather, the car hit the tree. But we had been moving too fast, and the tree gave way and broke under the force of 1 tonne of metal moving at about 90 KPH now. The next thing I remember was seeing the world literally turning upside down as the car went over the dropping edge of the road and rolled into the brushes below. In the blink of an eye, I was upside down in my seat, held in place by the safety belt.

in the grip of grace

“Thank you Lord”, I exhaled.

I looked over at Paul and asked him if he was fine. He confirmed that he was. When we managed to extract ourselves from the wreckage, we were relieved to find that there was not a single scratch on any of us. In fact, what I found even more amazing was the fact that there was not even a single speck of dirt on our clothes. We were perfectly fine.

Later on, while rummaging through the wreckage and debris in order to find anything worth salvaging, I found this book by Max Lucado lying on the roof (from the inside of the overturned car). Even though the book was all muddied up, the title was loud and clear to all:

IN THE GRIP OF GRACE

grip of grace

I never made it to church that Sunday, but I had just witnessed a sermon that I would never forget.

PS: No, we didn’t hit the woman. The car missed her by a hair’s breadth. Praise God!

Advertisements

The Hero in My Story

The_Horse_and_His_Boy_Cover_by_csgirlWhy do bad things happen to good people? I may attempt to understand Judas, that he was simply human, but can someone please explain to me Joseph? Or Job? Were these two men superhuman?

Of course, in both of their stories, God gives us a glimpse behind the curtains of providence: The devil was trying Job’s faith in God. The brothers were part of God’s intricate plan of redemption.

Yet, while reading these stories, it is easy for us to miss the bigger point. We are tempted to see Joseph as the center of his own story, the hero in his tale. And, to a certain extent, we would be justified in thinking so. Isn’t Joseph the slave boy who worked hard for his master? Isn’t Joseph the young man who fled from sexual temptation? Would it really be so wrong to think of Joseph as the hero in his story?

A similar case may be made for Job.

Our Bibles may not have the word “hero”, but we all know a hero when we see one. Continue reading The Hero in My Story

Blog Break (28 Jan 13)

Here are three links to some enlightening and encouraging reads to start off your week:

  1. AUGUSTINE: ON EVIL is a summary of Augustine’s ontological description/explanation of evil. For those who often have to deal with the question of why an all-good and all-powerful God would allow (not create) evil, it is my hope that this article will enlighten and encourage you. “The point is that evil and good are related, but that the relationship is not symmetrical.  Evil (nothingness) is dependent upon good (existence), but good does not depend on evil.  So it is correct, by Augustine’s reasoning, to say “There can be no evil without good” whereas it is mistaken to say “There can be no good without evil.””
  2. D. A. Carson’s FOR THE LOVE OF GOD devotional for 26th January explores the mysterious nature of God’s providence: “Providence is mysterious. It must never be used to justify wrong actions or to mitigate sin: Isaac and his family are more than a little sleazy, Judas is a deceitful wretch, Haman is vile, and the Roman court trying Paul is more than a little corrupt. Yet God sovereignly rules, behind the scenes, bringing glory out of gore and honor out of shame.”
  3. Finally, in 13 REASONS CHRISTIANS DON’T HAVE TO BE AFRAID, Jonathan Parnell, quoting John Piper,  reminds us that fear is really just a distrust of God’s sovereignty, power and goodness.

May you find rest in God’s sovereignty. Have an enlightened and fearless day, friends.