Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Grace for Tough Days

It was early when I woke up, ready to face the day.   

Yet, the only thing that happened the way I’d hoped was that I slept on my pig tails and they still looked okay.

I changed my clothes, brushed my teeth and washed my face. Then, I took the laundry down to stick it into a washer.  When I made it to the laundry room there was one washer left, enough to start, but not to do both loads in my basket. 

This is what happens when you decide to hit snooze a time or two, instead of getting up to your alarm, I thought to myself. 

I loaded my washer and then went to return upstairs.  It was as I stood before the gray box with the solid red light that I realized I had forgotten my key fob in the apartment.  This is a mistake I occasionally make, but as it was before our building’s office hours, I couldn’t sheepishly walk in to ask for help.  Thankfully, another tenant was returning from walking a dog and I was able to catch an elevator up to my floor with her.

It was a half hour later, as I was starting my next load of laundry, when I realized not only had I forgotten a bit of laundry and my quarters, I had left my key fob in the apartment again.  I dashed back into the hallway, hopeful, but there was no dog walking tenant.  I waited, finally saved by someone heading to work for the day. 

When I came back down, nearly an hour later, to pull my first set of laundry out of the dryer I panicked thinking I had put my dry flat, grey sweater in the dryer.  Rooting around with my head in the dryer, I couldn’t find it.

It has been getting easier to laugh at myself.  Yet, thinking about the mistakes piling up during the first few hours of the morning, I was becoming discouraged.  Often, this would set me in a bad mood, but somehow I was earnestly seeking to abide in Christ and it helped.  I wasn’t laughing, but I hadn’t reached the depths of despair either.  It was only laundry, after all.

To combat the frustration, I prayed the honest prayer of the moment as I stood in the laundry room. Lord, you know that one thing after the other is just not going the way I hoped today.  I am making one silly mistake after the other.  Please meet me here.

I moved the first set of dry laundry into the basket.  Then, I opened the washing machine to move the wet laundry to the dryer.  Right on top, I found my grey sweater.  It had not gone through the dryer after all.  Sweet blessing!  Thank you, Lord, I said aloud. 

He does see, I thought to myself.  He does care.  He cares right now, about this small detail.  He is walking with me in this moment—extending undeserved grace.

The day did not end here.  It would have been a nice and tidy story if it had.  Yet, how often is life really that way?  Life is more often filled with mess.  And some days are just tough.

The biggest mistake of the day hadn’t even happened yet. 

Forgetting a key fob is bad.  Forgetting the time you’ve set to meet a friend is worse. 

Yet, that is exactly what happened. 

I was all set to meet my friend at noon.  Then, at 11:15, while I was cleaning around my home, I began to wonder if noon was my lunch date for next week.  It was.  I was supposed to meet this friend at 11:00.  I began to panic, rushing to get out the door.  I called apologetically to let my friend know that I was on the way to my car.  She was very gracious.

As I sat in front of the parking lot gate, I watched it slide slowly to the left, clearing the way for my car.  I thought about God’s grace and began to receive it.  As I did, the pile of guilt that had been forming moved to the side clearing the way for a prayerful drive.  I walked in to lunch, humbled by His goodness in the midst of my brokenness, thankful and very aware of His love.  

It wasn't a perfect day.  But it was a day filled with His grace and love. 

“Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.” Ephesians 6:24


Grace and peace be ours in abundance as we receive His grace.  May we live in it.  May we find that it puts our hearts into a good place, even on days where nothing goes the way we hope.  May we find that we are better able to extend His grace because we know what it is to receive it. 

Jessica :)

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