Allotted Grace

[The future] sometimes feels impossible. Impossible when we forget that we are kept, loved, walked with in our hard [times]. When we sit and imagine future hard without the grace that is provided to walk in it- then we are walking away from the very air that helps us breathe. We sin when we imagine our futures. We are lonely in that future place, because we are too finite to understand how Jesus will meet us in those impossible moments. But we do, we spend moments wondering over those future fears.

– Kara at Mundane Faithfulness

On Sunday, I made the decision to ask God for direction for my future. I had been putting it off much the same way I had been putting off asking God for a job or a mentor or money between paychecks. I know I will not live with my dad and stepmom for the rest of my life, but I’m not sure on what’s next.

When I was in my early years of college, I told God I would serve him and obey him… as long as he didn’t call me overseas. When my eyes were awakened to God’s work overseas, I told him I would follow him anywhere: from the mansion in the country club in the Carolinas to the shack in the middle of the poorest part of India… as long he didn’t send me to Africa. When God called me on short term trips, I told him I would go whenever he sent me… as long as he didn’t want me to be a career missionary.

God has broken down so many walls I built up around myself, that I think I it’s time I stop giving him ultimatums.

My Monday morning commute found me pouring out fears and worries and unknowns about my finite future to a God who sees the entire spectrum of eternity in one glance.  I prayed hard that God would reveal my next step (not the whole plan, yet) and give me peace about whatever it would be. I prayed hard that God would align my future with that of my future husband. I prayed hard that even now, God would be preparing me for what he has for me.

When I imagine my future, I see a few different alternatives, each one with its own immense difficulties. I am guilty of imagining my future without also seeing the future grace allotted to me. I look ahead and imagine difficulties but don’t imagine God meeting those needs or providing that strength or opening those doors. How can I? I don’t write the future.

That’s why the words in the blog post I found this morning grabbed my attention. Kara writes, “We sin when we imagine our futures.” This upset me, because I think imagining one’s future is healthy and normal, but Kara wasn’t saying that thinking about the future is sinful. She was saying that worrying about expected difficulties without also hoping for God’s expected grace is sinful. God will not leave his children out in the rain. He will not do it. Therefore, worrying about what might or might not happen is just plain wrong.

The truth is that God gives us what we need right when we need it. He always has. I have never been without food or money when I needed it. I have never been without God’s grace or strength when I needed it. He always provides, and he provides in the most unlikely of ways. 

Whether God sends me to the middle of Africa or the middle of a suburban neighborhood, he will give me the grace I need to make it through each day. I must stop worrying about future fears, but instead allow God to take the reigns and prepare me for what he has for me one step at a time. He knows what he’s doing. He holds tomorrow in his hands. He knows what he’s doing, and I can rest in that.

But you will not even need to fight. Take your positions; then stand still and watch the Lord’s victory. He is with you, O people of Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out against them tomorrow, for the Lord is with you!

– 2 Chronicles 20:17