My husband just left to take Vern and Bee for a walk. Before leaving, The harness goes over Vern’s head, then a leash is latched to a metal loop. The door opens and Vern veers outside to go. But where? Not in the direction he chooses. No, my husband determines the path and pace. Vern tugs, wanting freedom. But if he obtains the ability to run where he chooses, chances are good that a car will come across his path with an outcome too sad to contemplate.
So why is it strange to consider how a loving God will send us in a different direction? To lead us where we do not want to go. One that is intended for our good.
Two fractured bones in my leg has stopped me from going down a road I must not have been meant to venture. A wait for surgery and my computer being hacked has left me feeling vulnerable and exposed. A path full of challenges and opportunities for growth.
Why should I be surprised? Could the road I was headed down be full of cars ready to cause my demise?
As Paul writes his last letter, a letter to Timothy, Paul knows he will soon be put to death for his faith. The Jewish leaders hate his betrayal to their traditions and the Romans are fed up with all the unrest he has caused. So, one last time, Paul puts pen to paper. He begins his letter writing with the most incredible greeting: “To Timothy, my beloved child. Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.” (2 Tim. 1:2-3)
Three words stand out here. Grace- the free and unmerited favor of God. Mercy- compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm. Peace- mental calm and serenity.
“God gave us a spirit, not of fear, but of power and love and self-control. (2 Tim 1:7)
I am thankful for Paul’s chains. Through his chains, I can experience the knowledge that God loves me enough to veer me in a direction I may not want to go-but one that is created just for me.
Vern has returned from his walk. He lies quietly at the end of the bed. A sense of peace has wrapped around us like a warm soft blanket. A perfect place to contemplate the grace, mercy, and peace extended to all of us by our Loving Father.