Monday, November 18, 2013


So do not throw away your confidence;
it will be richly rewarded. You need to
persevere so that when you have done
the will of God, you will receive what
He has promised.    
                             Hebrews 10:36 

     My husband and I recently took a six-week long trip visiting family and friends across several states. Much of our time was spent in the mountains of east Tennessee. When I am weary from the struggles of life, I begin to yearn for those mountains for it is there, like no other place, that God restores my soul.

     Broken down barns and falling down homesteads remind me of the struggle of those who came before me—my ancestors who helped pioneer the land and cultivate the soil as they persevered making it useful for crops and raising godly families.

     My first glimpse of the Appalachians is like a breath of fresh cool air on a hot humid day. My heart races as I inhale the view anxious to finally arrive. It is a long way from the first sighting until actual arrival, but the journey becomes a dim memory as the car rolls to a stop and the proclamation is made, “We’re here!” Restoration begins immediately.

     On this trip, I took my book manuscript to edit and materials for a study on God’s grace. I planned to work my way through the trip, meet my self-imposed deadlines and return home with the confidence of a job well done. But God had other plans. He began to speak to my heart about grace but not in the way I expected.

     It soon became clear that more than the study of grace, more than the writing about grace and more than the constant thinking about grace, God wanted me to experience grace—in both the receiving from and giving to others. Some days went well and other days presented me with the opportunity to fail forward—to recognize that I too am a construction zone and to see where God has filled the potholes of my life with His grace. Restoration!

     I already understood that it is only by God’s grace that you and I are given the opportunity to accept His offer of salvation through His Son Jesus Christ. And I knew that God gives us His grace for everyday living. But as He continued to restore my soul, I began to more fully understand that my Heavenly Father desires me to extend grace to others in the same way He has extended grace to me.

     Practically speaking that means that I do not always get things my way, in my time and on my schedule. People matter! Things can wait! Schedules can be amended! Our family and friends, our church family, strangers—need grace. You need grace. I need grace. God’s grace restores the broken, heals the wounded heart and renews our confidence in His great love.

     I may live to see the return of Christ or I may close my eyes on this earth and open them to a view that will surpass any I have seen in this lifetime. In the meantime, I desire to live a life which encourages others to restoration through God’s beautiful and bountiful grace.

© JPowell 2013


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