Surprised by the Grace of God


Since we have returned from living in Italy there have certainly been days where I have felt upside down.  Those are the days where it has been difficult to get my bearings emotionally, spiritually and even physically.  You know what you have left behind but the road ahead is still curvy and layered with fog.  Stage of life also plays into this for me.  I want to know that everything I am doing counts and flows from a deep center.  Its during these times when life can feel very functional.  You go through the motions but there can be a sense of profound vagueness about the outcome and your contribution.  But today God kindly spoke into my mental haze in two distinct ways.  He reminded me this morning in my study of Revelation that He is the sovereign Creator and Redeemer who is present enough and powerful enough to bring all of life towards His purposes.  And he surprised me with a phone call.

Today, Lewis gave me call from Ohio to reconnect and bless me.  Oh, he didn’t know that his call would be a blessing on this day.  But God did.  Lewis was a student at the very first campus I went to as a 23 year old staff member with Cru. He was a fraternity guy that I stumbled upon one day who became a student leader in our campus ministry and a friend.  I witnessed how God transformed Lewis into a caring, compassionate, devoted follower of Christ who had great influence on all around him.  It was the grace of God then to allow me some measure of fulfillment in mentoring a young man’s life.  Lewis and I had not heard from one another for many years.  But today he called to let me know that he and his family had begun a new chapter of their lives in Ohio and that he was still discipling men.  He was excited about how God was leading he and his wife into some very fruitful times of ministry among coworkers, neighbors and with church communities.  He updated me on some other guys from those days when Lewis was a college student.  It was amazing to hear how several of them are still walking with God and having an impact on the world.  That was 32 years ago.  It seems like yesterday and it seems like forever ago.  I don’t take for granted any more that people will still chase hard after God 32 years later.  We all experience enough bumps and bruises, either through our own choices or through life in a sin wrecked world, that it can’t be a given.  Today I sensed it was only by God’s grace that Lewis and I are both still passionate about Jesus Christ and still want to serve Him in whatever way we can.  And to think I played any role in his life in coming to faith or helping him walk faithfully for 32 years is even a greater dose of grace for me on this day.  And one that God knew I desperately needed.  May you be surprised and encouraged today by the grace of God.

Soli Deo Gloria!

4 responses to “Surprised by the Grace of God

  1. Thanks for sharing, Gary. Stories like this are helpful to us all!
    In-n-Out is calling your name in the OC. Extra rooms, fun, fellowship, food…dude, what are you waiting for?

  2. What a great call. God knows when we need those types of calls. Thank you for sharing.

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