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God give me grace

I was praying for grace this morning.  I’m tired of people.  Do you ever feel that way?  Just too many people, too many demands.  They’re too complicated; I’m too complicated.  We interact in broken ways.  A friend betrays something I shared in confidence to another …
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

I was praying for grace this morning.  I’m tired of people.  Do you ever feel that way?  Just too many people, too many demands.  They’re too complicated; I’m too complicated.  We interact in broken ways.  A friend betrays something I shared in confidence to another friend. What the friend shared reveals a piece of my brokenness.  So then I’m ticked at the betrayal, and the second friend is wounded by my brokenness.

It’s a convoluted mess.  I wake up at 4:20 a.m. because Whimsy has crawled up next to me in bed and I’m hot.  I push him down to the end of the bed and begin thinking, “Why was I so quick to send that email in the first place?  Why can’t I leave it lie for a while?”  And the thoughts churn in my mind. 

About 4:40 a.m., I think, “To heck with this.  I’d be better off just getting out of bed and making a pot of coffee so I can journal out my thoughts.” 

So, that’s what I do.  It’s raining outside – Whimsy wants out and the cat wants in.  I make the coffee and it’s delicious and palliative.  This is much better than lying in bed.  And I pray, “God give me grace.”  I just am tired of all the issues.  Life would be much easier if I didn’t have to deal with people and their issues that inevitably reveal the brokenness in my life.  This is why we people don’t do community.  This is why it’s so much easier to just do the institutional church and call it good.

“God give me grace,” I pray and open the Bible to see what God might have to say.  And immediately I read Jonah 2:8, “Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.”

Dang! I hate that about God.  That’s not what grace is supposed to look like!  It’s supposed to be an easing up of the pressure to change. It’s supposed to be a mother’s voice cooing over me, “There, there, it’s going to be alright.  Don’t worry about those other people and their issues.”  But no, this God we serve is as incisive and direct as he is personal. He doesn’t let me off the hook, but goes after my brokenness like a surgeon. 

And so I’m led to pray begrudgingly, “OK, where have I substituted something else for you? Where have idols crept into my life?”  The dialog goes on from there. It’s my hurt feelings that are in the way.  He wants them – I need to give up the right to be hurt.  Aaak – I hate this.  God is a jealous lover – the very trust I may have lost in another is the trust he wants back from me.  It stinks, but it’s better than not having the conversation in the first place.

Comments (15)

  • Ouch! That hit too close to home, Seth. I have a counseling session with my mom later today – I want her to change and have neglected the grace I need to extend and the changes I need to pray for and work toward. Thanks for your transparency and on sharing this on just the right morning!

  • I get it… maybe the stomach of the big fish was grace! Three days of intense solitude helped his perspective!!

  • oh daddy, you’re so great. I just love you. you set such a great example and make it so much easier for everyone else (me) to do the same. I love you!

  • wow, praise GOD for the utter humility and transparency you show to all – greater love has no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends
    and you are laying it all out here – how much more socially appropriate for you to cover over this & wrestle ALONE then to lay it all out on the table for examination and inspection.

    GOD I LOVE THIS EXAMPLE of TRUE leadership:
    I don’t have it all together but I’m not going to selectively show you what is together, here it is,
    I’m a work in progress, follow me as I follow Christ.

    BLESSINGS to you Seth as you work out your salvation before and with us.

  • I echo your prayer for grace everyday… that God puts in a place where have to continually choose into communityespecially when it hurts the most has been the hardest and most refining tool He has used in me the last few months. Thank you for your honesty and realness. Praying for you… 🙂

  • Wow…deep is calling into the deep. We Thank you Father that Your Grace is sufficient. No matter the size of the matter…it is more than enough. For it is in the flesh that we hurt and though the Grace we recieve IS sufficient to cover us, our flesh keeps screaming. And I am reminded, guard your heart…for out of it flows the issues of life and, out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks and then we have what we say. Oh Lord, we pray for sharper discernment …Godly wisdom, to know by Your Holy Spirit, exactly where and how to lend ourselves as not to be led off your eternal path. For the path is narrow and we Thank you for the Grace that covers and Sharpened discernment so as not to be at all mislead, and in that, used more mightly for the Kingom…we Thank You in Jesus name.

    …Thank you for all your servants in The Body of Christ, cover us, sharpen us and lift us up for Your Glory Lord, Amen.

    Thanks for sharing Seth…I am much better now…you?

  • Dear daddy,We are proud of you and I am apperciate you, you’re so great.You are great example for the leaders.I always encourage by your teachings. I love you so much.God bless You.
    With every blessings of Christ.
    Yours Son in Pakistan.

  • Yeah, grace is that stuff that makes you smile until you have to give it away when you don’t want to, eh?

    Appreciate your honesty. And you’re right. It’s better than not having the conversation in the first place, but that doesn’t make it an easy comforting ride.

    But I don’t know about you, I would rather be in that awful bittersweet place of brokenness and honesty before Him, knowing Him more, letting Him see into me, than to cover it up with a sheen of self justification and self deceit and lose my intimacy with Him.

    Not fun though at times, is it? Bless you – may grace be yours more than you imagine possible. lol Cxxx

  • Barnes – you`re a leader worth following . Man sized , God induced limp ! Maybe that should be God sized , man induced limp ! Gutsy and humble as always speaking liberating Truth . How grateful I am for our covenant …..and then I hear : ‘ ALL things work together for GOOD…!’

  • It seems as though God has been stirring your pot a bit lately. I can’t wait to see what He produces. I’m sure it does’t feel good in the pot, but the aroma sure smells good.

  • There is nothing more beautiful than to rest in His presence knowing deep down in your soul that you are loved and accepted just as you are.In all your brokeness you are loved by Him and in all your brokeness you are accepted by Him.

    God calls His people to love you the same way, He sets the example and we must follow if we truly love Him.

    But take comfort in this, if people reject you then they reject Him. No servant is greater than his master. If you follow Jesus you WILL be rejected, that is a fact that will not go away.Learn to embrace it and bless those that hurt you. Jesus was betrayed, He knows how you feel.Let Him comfort you.

    If you are persecuted, rejected, and betrayed then it sounds like your doing just fine!They are all the hallmarks of a great servant.

  • The longer I live the more I find out its just not about “me”… it is such a relief to know I can step out of my own way…as for wanting the there…there…its going to be Ok….I can certainly relate. Thank you for sharing and letting me know I’m not alone in my struggle with these issues.

  • I was looking for give me grace to follow and I found this. How releveant. Thank God for how he helps us to take our eyes off ourselves. I am going through one of those moments were I am wondering where good news all went because I am in need of that right now. The Lord however, has been trying for about 24 hours to get me to appreciate his forgiveness in Psalm 103 – forgiveness, loving kindness, mercy etc and all the things I can bless him for. He wants to remain central in my life. He also would like me to extend the grace afforded me to the people and circumstances surrounding me. By accepting his grace, my peace is restored. Thank you for sharing your experience. Blessings in Jesus name.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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