In Fields of Grace
5.55 a.m. on the 22nd of January 2014. I get into my husband’s lovely white Hyundai Sonata. ‘Got everything?” he asks. I nod. He smiles; starts the ignition. And we are off – speeding off into a new day and into a new experience. Off to hospital. Yes, it’s time for another operation. One foot done; one to go. The hour has arrived.
I was a little sad that morning because I felt somewhat distanced from God. Not God’s fault. Mine entirely. The past 4 months had been busy. Hectic. Too hectic. My times with God, usually long and unhurried had often got squeezed out into very short bursts especially in the last little while. Simply because there was always too much to do. I was mostly rushing. Rushing to do what God required of me. Rushing to leave on holiday. Rushing to unpack after holidays. Rushing to get ready for my operation. And my time with God had suffered.
I knew that God would understand. He always does. But….the truth is that my extended times with God are the wind beneath my wings. Whenever those times have lessened – the quality of my life has lessened. That morning before I left for hospital I went to Him shamefacedly. “Forgive me Lord” I whispered. “I know I’ve not spent sufficient time with you of late. I am so sorry. I want to change it. Please help me. And please send me some encouragement today. Thank you Father.”
Dawn was breaking as our car sped out into the morning world. A few parrots chirped their screechy morning song, - flashes of bright green and red, vivid against an azure sky. The wind sang songs even as trees and bushes bowed low, dancing in unison. And then… and then… I saw it. God’s gift to me. A gift of GRACE. I was stunned.
It was one of the most spectacular sunrises I had ever beheld. The sky around me was aglow with red and orange, gold and yellow. Everywhere I looked – North, South, East and West, bright flamboyant colours blazed in glory. “Here’s my gift to you Anusha’ God said to me. I was awed. Amazed. Such a beautiful gift and an amazing send-off for my stay in hospital. ‘Thank you Father’ I whispered back – stunned and delighted. I didn’t deserve His gift – but He gave it nonetheless. His gift of grace.
It was the first of many gifts I received that day. Gifts I didn’t deserve. I’d been too busy for God during the recent past. But the moment I asked for His forgiveness He responded with love. He didn’t waste a moment. He showered me with grace. All day long He brought special encouragement my way.
They were amazing little love gifts, tied up in bows of grace.
The nurse who got me ready for my operation was a sweet young Indian lass – new to Australia; a Christian in need of fellowship. We both acknowledged that our meeting had to be a ‘God thing’. She needed an older mature Christian to help her along. I needed a burst of encouragement. And so, God brought us together. Yes, it was definitely a "God thing". Most of the doctors and nurses I met that day treated me with warmth and friendliness. I tried hard to be ‘brave’ as the Anaesthetist administered 3 painful injections into my foot. I’d refused sedation since chemicals often don’t do well in my (strange) body. He was impressed that I coped so well. His warm words of affirmation encouraged my spirit.
I’d hoped I’d get a room to myself. I didn’t. But you know what? I got something better. Three lovely cheerful room mates whom I could laugh with. We chattered away like old friends. We all got on like a house on fire. More gifts from my Father’s gracious hand. Two happy visits with my husband and cheery text messages from a long lost friend further brightened my spirit. That night my ankle block wore off at 2 a.m. and the pain hit…hard. No – I didn’t get much sleep that night. But – I did have yet another gift. At 6 am, I was in my small darkened cubicle after a night of very little sleep. I put on my mp3 player and lay there listening to praise music– worshipping my awesome God – enjoying precious moments with Him, feeling unutterably grateful. In spite of my pain and weariness, He made it possible for me to worship Him. It was just what I needed to lift me up. A refreshing dip in a gurgling stream on a dry hot summer's day.
I returned home from hospital not in a blaze of a red and orange sunrise as I’d entered it. But I did return in a blaze of glory. In the joy that comes from soaking in a field of grace. Of dancing in it. I’ve danced in rain. I’ve danced in sunshine. But this was the first time I’ve danced in GRACE.
Are you feeling sad today? Does God seem far away? Are you in need of His touch? Do you feel unworthy (as I did)? Or as ashamed (as I did)? It matters not a bit. Our Father specialises in grace - amazing, undeserved goodness which He rains down in love upon all who seek Him.