God’s Grace in the Goodbyes

I have been reading through Jerry Bridges’ book Transforming Grace this morning. As he explains the parable of the workers and the wages in Matthew 20 he asks:
Why do so many people stumble over this parable and consider the landowner to be unfair?
I believe it is because we Christians instinctively identify with the workers who had worked all day. We place ourselves in their shoes instead of in the shoes of those who worked only one hour. We look at society around us, instead of at Jesus Christ, and we begin to feel pretty good about ourselves. We consider ourselves to be twelve-hour workers, and we expect to be rewarded accordingly. 

But we need to adopt the attitude of the Roman centurion described in Luke 7. We can never obligate God by our obedience or our sacrificial service. Even if we were perfectly obedient in all our Christian duties, we would still be forced to say, “We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty” (Luke 17).

Job, in defending himself against the false accusations of his so-called friends, fell from an attitude of grace into thinking he deserved better treatment from God. God rebukes Job for his attitude of “I’m not getting what I deserve.” He had fallen from an attitude of “The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised,” into an attitude of “It profits a man nothing when he tries to please God”. Job had, over the time of his suffering, shifted from the position of an eleventh-hour worker to one who felt he had indeed “borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day…”
Contentment with what we have whether it is possessions, or station in life, or mental or physical abilities is worth far, far more than all the things we don’t have.”

Bryson becoming a part of his new forever family became reality today. We are so thankful and yet so tearful. He will be leaving us sooner than we expected (probably in a day or two), but in reading through the pages of Bridges’ book this morning and praying God’s will in the adoption planning meeting today, I came to conclude that everyday with Bryson was a grace gift. Whether we have what God gives us for a lifetime or only an hour, it is all gracious and undeserved.

In serving Bryson, we have only done our duty. We have obeyed God’s command to care for the orphan. That’s what He called us to do. And now we are to release him into the hands of that same God who gave him to us for a short time, that He may complete what He started in his little life.

Please pray for us to be thankful … as we say our goodbyes.

(If you wish to have, as Paul Harvey says, “the rest of the story” you can read it in my January/February blogs starting here: New Foster Mama)

3 thoughts on “God’s Grace in the Goodbyes

  1. Carol Willits June 19, 2013 / 8:16 pm

    Mel, You have not only done your “duty” you have gone beyond and loved this little guy with the love of Christ that he will carry with him all the days of his life. Take comfort in the God who placed him with you for a time, He will also keep him forever. You're in my prayers..I know your heart aches.

    Like

  2. Mama Mel June 19, 2013 / 8:32 pm

    Thanks for loving us well, Carol. And for encouraging me always.

    Like

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