We don’t always understand why God does what He does such as, why to those who live rightly He allows bad things to happen to them or worse yet, He gives something that is hard to bear. In his book, The Contemplative Pastor, Eugene H. Peterson shares about Ruthie and Dave, a deeply spiritual Christian couple. After they got married, God blessed them with a baby girl—a blind baby girl! Upon hearing the news, Eugene and his wife Jan were very sad because they had known Ruthie since she was a teenager. Their first reaction was to ask God, “How could this happen to Dave and Ruthie?”
But Ruthi and Dave did not wallow in grief and disappointment. Instead, they chose to see their baby as a gift from God and took what’s been given to them and turned it into “the life of grace and redemption.” This was what Ruthi said, “I’ve had a lot of great experiences in my life, but nothing has been as great as being a mother.” She told the Petersons that her husband Dave had been climbing mountains—with their baby! No sadness, just pure joy.
Today we are celebrating our church’s 42nd anniversary. Many of you have had your shares of tribulations, both personally and as a body of Christ. But you have remained steadfast; and instead of drowning in grief and bitterness, you chose to rise and creatively turned your grief into joy. You saw God’s hands in every pain you experienced; consequently, you saw hope and received strength. You made the best out of difficult and sometimes painful situations.
Quoting from Bernanos’ Diary of a Country Priest, Eugene Peterson, concludes, “Grace is everywhere.” Yes, God’s grace is everywhere: It is here as we worship; it is at home in our relationships with our family members; it is at work as we do our jobs and relate with our coworkers; it is in our pleasant and unpleasant circumstances.