Before coming to OUTTATOWN, my faith was weak, very weak. I was doubting that God even existed. As the weeks of the discipleship program passed, God gradually became a regular thought in my mind. I stopped seeing things as “coincidences”, but rather as God at work. However, it wasn’t until Steve Klassen came to speak to our group about listening to God that I really experienced His presence. One morning, after a session, God showed himself to me in an incredible way. It was at this moment that I truly handed my life over to God; my past, present and future were finally His. My personal relationship with God began in a new way.
Before this week, grace meant nothing to me. A friend of mine told me she was thinking about getting a tattoo with the word “grace” in it and my first thought was, “Why grace? It’s such a meaningless word.” My outlook on the word quickly changed when Steve came. The first time he introduced it to us was in a breathing prayer that goes like this:
BREATHING IN: Where sin abounds
BREATHING OUT: Grace abounds more
This breath prayer came at a time when my frustration with people in the community was at a high. It made me think about how God has shown me so much grace in my past and how I need to extend that grace to others. The night before our silent day during the week on listening to God I prayed for a focus for the day. Grace came to mind right away but still I wasn’t sure. I decided if I woke up still thinking about grace I would focus on it for the day. As I was walking up to breakfast, without really thinking, I began doing the breath prayer Steve taught us. Once I got to the top of the hill I was kind of disappointed that I hadn’t thought about grace, but then it hit me that I had just been praying for grace the entire walk up! So I decided to spend the day focusing on grace and looked up 25 verses about it in the bible. The theme of grace came alive to me in a new way and these verses from II Corinthians 12:9-10 hit me.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. Why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
I realized that it’s ok to be weak and to struggle because those are the times God shines through you the most.
In the afternoon I decided to go for a hike and just hang out with God. Even though I spent the day physically alone it didn’t feel that way at all. I felt God with me in a beautiful way, like being with a good friend. After climbing a bit I found a place I could sit on a beautiful rock looking over a river. I pulled out a book of worship songs and started to sing. I thought to myself, “Wouldn’t it be cool if there was a song about grace?” I flipped my book open and the first song in the book was Amazing Grace. As I sang, the words quickly hit me – “I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see.” That right there summed up this week for me. God has found me and my eyes have been opened to see Him. I then sang a different rendition of the song – “My chains are gone, I’ve been set free. My God, my Saviour, has ransomed me.” It was this moment that I realized it had been Satan holding me back with chains and that I have finally broken free to be with God.
Steve had told us at the sound of his trumpet we should gather for a session to end our silent day. On my way back to the building I prayed, “God we’ve had such an amazing day and I know this might be a lot to ask, but what are the chances he could play Amazing Grace on the trumpet?” I kid you not as soon as my butt hit the chair he began to play Amazing Grace. In just a few days grace changed from being a word that meant nothing to me, to being one of the most powerful and meaningful words in my life. When I think about the unending grace God gives me all I think about is how I will never deserve it but will long to experience it every day.
Ephesians 2: 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.
Thank you for this incredibly beautiful reminder that His grace is enough…more than enough! It was a timely word for me today. Thank you Father for your great grace!