I Think we tend to forget that grace does not always come in a pretty little box with a bow wrapped neatly around it.
We look to God and love him immensly when he gives us good things. We praise him, we raise holy hands to him in church. We thank him over and over.
But the truth is, Grace does not always come in pretty little packages with a bow tied neatly around it. If you will take a walk with me down into history, some two thousand years ago. Grace came in a form that was not so beautiful.
Isaiah 53: 2 says, "He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him."
Then Grace became even more ugly. Grace died upon a tree.
Isaiah goes onto say in the 52nd chapter verse 14, his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness.
Jesus came to turn the world upside down. What happens when grace becomes ugly in your life?
You have suffered the death of a loved one whom you thought had the rest of their lives ahead of them.
Your spouse comes to you and says "I don't love you anymore."
Your diagnosis turns out to be positive for cancer or some other life threatening disease.
Your adoption did not go through and now you don't know if you will ever be able to afford emotionally and physically to start the process again.
You go to the doctor and the ultrasound reveals the heartbeat has stopped.
The doctor tells you " You will never be able to have children." You think about all those mothers who live daily, beating their children, selling and doing drugs in front of their children, leaving their children unattended and something terrible happens to them, all of this makes you question," Why, I would be such a good mother to a child why me?" "Why them?"
Your spouse looses the job and suddenly you find yourself wondering how you are going to pay for all you have been blessed with?
your teenager is hooked on drugs or alcohol maybe even pornography.
What in the world do we do with all of this Ugly Beautiful Grace?
I too am learning what to do with ugly beautiful grace. In Ann's book 1,000 gifts she talked about what Jesus did when he was facing the cross the night before.
He Gave Thanks. Giving thanks for something that was about to take his life!
God sent Jesus to be our role model. We too need to be giving thanks. Is it easy? In no way. Was it easy for Jesus? In no way, but because he knew how to dispell darkness, he gave thanks.
Should I give thanks for all of this Ugly Beautiful Grace that was mentioned above? Yes! This is the only way to dispell the darkness and let loose the chains of bitterness and anger and rage. This is the only way that you can begin to have the heart of your Savior. This is the only way you can begin to fully love the poured out Grace God that allowed this Ugly beautiful Grace in your life. The enemy of your soul wants nothing more than for you to be angry and distant with God. If you never give thanks then he will do his unholy work in your life and will help you find your way into your own pit of despair, where you will be locked away spiritually. How he must howl when this happens in our lives. How the lavishing love Father must break for us when we turn our backs on him because he has allowed some Ugly Beautiful Grace into our lives. when all he wants to do is hold us and show us that he wants to be everything to us. How would we ever know his power to comfort, his strength that is made perfect in weakness, his forgiving heart, his power to heal, his ability to meet all of our needs in job losses, his ability to heal marriages, his ability to heal broken hearts that lose loved ones and miscarry the life that was within. His ability to open a door for us when one has been slammed completely shut. His power to turn away from whatever tempts you. Would we know any of this if we never walked through the Ugly Beautiful Grace?
When Jesus faced the cross he gave THANKS!
Ann, Thank you for your book. Thank you for teaching me how to give thanks in the Ugly Beautiful Grace.
Father, you are mighty, your are worthy, you are very capable, you are gracious, you are merciful, you are just, you are righteous. YOU ARE TRUTH! YOU ARE THE ONLY WAY TO ABUNDANT LIFE. Thank you for pulling me up out of my pit that I had dug. Thank you for loosening my chains and setting me free from despair! Thank you for showing me that even your Son, your only beautiful Son had to learn to give thanks when facing the ugly beautiful grace. Thank you for all the ugly beautiful Grace in my life. I Love you Lord! In Jesus name I pray Amen.
Here is a small list of some ugly beautiful grace moments in my life.
My Mother having multiple sclerosis and now liver disease because her doctors over medicated her for 25 years.
Losing a family member to cancer.
Losing a dear friend after her giving birth to twins, her aorta split an hour after the twins were born.
Sweet hubby's job loss, lasted almost a full year. God provided so much for us in this time.
Good and perfect gift's AD/HD, Sensory Integration Disorder.
Good and perfect gift's lung infection before we took him home after he was born.
Coming from a divorced home, Real father never wanted anything to do with me.
Having been molested by a family member at the age of 9
Being rejected by church friends.
Having to be in counseling for anger and marriage issues.