Last week, I decided to go live on Candle Culture’s Instagram for the first time with two friends, inspired by one of them who ideated the virtual convo. During the live, someone kept calling me and so, I was slightly distracted. At some point, I even mistakenly kicked myself off the live in trying to decline the call. After the live, I thanked God for being present with us but in my mind, I kept wondering why that had to happen; why did someone who hardly ever calls me, have to call at that time and not just anyone but an older person who didn’t really grasp that I was declining the call for a reason? I know it seems like such a little thing but I’ve watched many Instagram lives in recent times and they were really smooth so I did not anticipate any issues. I was not even upset but it’s one of those things where you pray about something and you believe that God has you covered and then something unexpected happens and you’re just wondering why. Shortly after the live, a couple of friends reached out with kind messages. I was explaining to some of them how I felt and independent of each other, they said it took nothing away from the live. When I was reading a friend’s text about how helpful it was for him, I realized that God had actually answered me because that was the essence of the entire thing, for it to help someone.
I once heard that as humans we are conditioned to focus on the negatives of a situation rather than the positives. You have offers from amazing unis but you’re worried about whether or not you’re truly ready for the uni experience. You graduated from College in the middle of a pandemic but you can’t stop thinking about a part of your College experience that you wish had played out differently. You have this job that you prayed for but you are frustrated by someone at work. One of my friends reminded me yesterday of how amazing it is that I am now willing to go live on Instagram when prior to 2019, I would always say that I would never download the same app. I momentarily forgot about the growth that has happened both in me and with Candle Culture, and focused on what went wrong. I want to challenge us to change the lens through which we view ourselves and our situations. Rather than focus on what we did wrong or what went wrong, let’s turn our eyes towards grace.
When we hear grace, we often think of God’s love for us and inexhaustible capacity to forgive us. We think of redemption and how we are not defined by the things that we have done or will do. These go-to definitions of grace are all true. Yet, I am thinking of another dimension of grace today, that part that equips us with power-power to overcome, to try again and to keep going.
I have been watching Mike Todd’s 2018 sermons on Grace for a week now and I would highly recommend the 9-part series to everyone as it has totally changed the way I perceive grace. In part 9, He said that when we face opposition in doing something that God has called us to do, we think it must not be God when in reality, it is exactly God who is always trying to teach or show us something. He explained that God uses discomfort to reinforce dependence.The presence of grace neither makes everything blissful nor invalidates the emotions we feel when we experience difficulty. God never promised ease or perfection in our lives but He has promised grace and that is all we truly need.