- Pastor Ralph
Walking in Fatherly Grace
Sir Edwin Landseer was one of the most famous painters of the Victorian era. His talent developed early, and he had the first showing of his work at the Royal Academy when he was just thirteen years old. He was commissioned to do a number of official portraits of the royal family, and even gave private drawing lessons to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. But he was best known for his depictions of the natural settings and life in the Scottish highlands.
One day, as he was visiting a family in an old mansion in Scotland, one of the servants spilled a pitcher of soda water, leaving a large stain on the wall. While the family was out for the day, Landseer remained behind. Using charcoal, he incorporated the stain into a beautiful drawing. When the family returned they found a picture of a waterfall surrounded by trees and animals. He used his skill to make something beautiful out of what had been an unsightly mess.
God works in much the same way in our lives. The things that we think of as weaknesses and shortcomings can, through His grace, become our greatest strengths and the very things He uses to bring glory to Himself. God’s grace provides the strength to meet every challenge and overcome every weakness.
As we begin this week, let us remember that God is in the business of molding us into masterpieces of His grace. He lovingly guides us as our “Abba” Father through the presence of His Holy Spirit, His word, His people, His divine providence and His personal, tender care (Romans 8:15, Mark 14:36, and Galatians 4:6 NIV). He is a guide. Instead of placing before us a map and telling us to “follow it", our loving Father walks with us each step of the way. The path sometimes seems obscured by obstacles, but He is able to guide us through them by His grace filled strength. As Paul knew, His grace was and is “sufficient” for the challenge (2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV) .
A young boy went to the local store with his mother. The shop owner, a kind man, passed him a large jar of suckers and invited him to help himself to a handful.
Uncharacteristically, the boy held back. So the shop owner pulled out a handful for him. When outside, the boy’s mother asked why he had suddenly been so shy and wouldn’t take a handful of suckers when offered. The boy replied, “Because his hand is much bigger than mine!”
Take your Heavenly Father’s hand this week. His hand is much bigger than yours or mine. It will never let us go! (Hebrews 13:5b NIV)
Take care and be safe. Remember, God loves you and so do I – Pastor Ralph