My immaturity almost spoiled our marriage. In our early years, I stewed over petty things like: my husband leaves his clothes on the floor; he doesn’t give me enough attention; he doesn’t help with the housework; he doesn’t appreciate me enough. I’d sulk. Sometimes cry. More often, I’d give him the silent treatment.
I prayed … God change him. God responded, “I can help you if you are willing to change.”
God was calling me to a deeper dependence upon Him. I realized later that what I wanted wasn’t what I needed most. I needed God’s grace, not a changed husband.
“My grace---My favor and loving-kindness and mercy—are enough for you, [that is, sufficient against any danger and to enable you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect-fulfilled and completed and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9 AMP).
As I called to God, grace came in many forms. In my marriage, I was asking for God’s grace so that I wouldn’t harbor resentments. I desired to fulfill my vows without complaining or grumbling. Grace turned self-pity into recognizing and thanking God for my husband’s many good qualities. This undeserved gift was giving me clarity to see attitude changes I needed to make. Grace was helping me face my weaknesses, not make excuses for them, or try to hide them.
Days pass with more opportunities to cry out for God’s grace. Parenting and grand-parenting requires grace for much wisdom and endurance. All relationships require the grace of patience and forgiveness. God promises we can do “immeasurably more” than what we can think or imagine empowered by His grace gift.
Whether our need is relational, physical, financial, or we’re lacking confidence or will power, God will go to impossible lengths to help us. Grace doesn’t necessarily change other people or improve situations.
I’m learning the beauty of grace reshapes us into the person God designed us to be.
“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).
Written by Pam Enderby