God’s goodness


Boy Playing in Rain


God gave me an unexpected grace.

While I was praying a few weeks ago, God began to unfold in my mind the best way to approach the sermon text for that Sunday. 

I had been struggling with how to best organize and present the truths contained in the passage. Some weeks this is especially difficult. I may have a few clear thoughts in my mind, but I don’t know how to bring them together in a cohesive message. Ideas bounce around in my brain and seem to willfully resist coming together.

When I realized God was graciously bringing the message together for me, I was obviously thankful to Him. I began to praise God for his goodness of stepping into my struggle and filling me with his thoughts. 

A few minutes later, it suddenly struck me, this thankfulness was not enough. I also had the responsibility of connecting this grace from God, to the other struggles of my life. This particular grace did not arrive in isolation, it was part of a ceaseless flow of mercy and goodness from my Heavenly Father.

The lesson here is not to compartmentalize God’s graces to us. Rather we should use a grace manifested in one area to encourage us where we are not seeing grace in another area.

God does not stop and start with his graces. They do not stall out. The opposite is true, they are part of the “living waters” which Jesus declared flow like a river through our lives!

If we are to honor God as he deserves, then we must accurately see that he is continuously and overwhelming gracious to us. God does not haphazardly drop random graces into our lives. In Christ, all of our moments take place within a flow of grace, which runs from the cross into eternity.


Image by © Ed Bock/CORBIS



This is not a photo, it is a pencil drawing by 16 year old Shania McDonagh who obviously has exceptional talent. After digesting my amazement in examining this portrait, I was struck by a second reason for amazement. God loves to gift us to accomplish wonderful things. We have all been amazed many times by people’s giftedness in music, art, knowledge, writing, athletics, creativity, slight of hand etc.

These people typically have worked very hard to hone their skill, but the foundational reality is that God has gifted them. Not all of us seem to have gifts that are so advanced as to astound family and friends (although our moms and grand-moms seem to think we are quite special).

We would do well to think about being gifted in wider ways than some form of performance. God gifts us in far greater ways than playing a mean fiddle. We have gifts of temperament and character that can make us a source of significant blessing to the people in our lives.

However, my main purpose in this blog is not to delve deeply into how we are gifted. Instead I want to remind us to wonder at the God who gifts us. The wide variety of how God gifts us is an evidence in hoe God delights to put joy and wonder in our lives.

A God who invented sunsets and hummingbirds, and gifted amazing 16 year old artists, is a God worth getting to know better each day.

Shania has won several national art competitions. You can see a close up of the whole drawing, which is named “Coleman” here.