Catastrophic Grace


We build our lives hoping the dreams we imagine will come to fruition.

We take the steps needed to have
A fulfilling career,
That house on the hill,
A loving family.

Whatever the dream,
We reach
To attain.

And then,
Somewhere along the timeline of life
An unexpected tragedy occurs.

For some, the tragedy comes early.
Others have plenty of time living the dream before it erupts.
Either way, as we live on this earth, life will crash in around us.

Illness. Disability. Alcoholism. Addiction. Death.  Flood. Tsunami. Fire. Hurricane. Tornado. Earthquake. Miscarriage. Infertility. SIDS. Accident. Abuse. Molestation. Rape. Murder. Betrayal. Adultery. Divorce. Termination. Bankruptcy. Depression. Slander. . .

Self-induced or brought on by another’s choice . . . no matter . . .

It is by the grace of catastrophe that people sometimes come to themselves and see what is before them as if for the first time.  Catastrophe can, like a mighty wind, blow away the abstracting veils of theory and ideology and enable our own sovereign seeing.  ~Eugene Peterson

As if for the first time, we see. The winds of change, the stormy gusts of tragedy blow away the abstracting veils of all the theory and ideology we have assumed. Or, determined. No matter how you came to your personal belief system, it is in shambles from the catastrophe that has overtaken your existence.

Now what?

I do not understand the mystery of grace—only that it meets us where we are, but does not leave us where it found us. ~Anne Lamott

The huge unaswerable question is formed,
And finally breathed: Why?

As the writer of Ecclesiastes laments,
“Everything is meaningless, utterly meaningless!”

Nothing in this life under the sun brings fulfillment.
Nothing brings meaning.
All may be lost in a moment.

Life isn’t like a book. Life isn’t logical or sensible or orderly.  Life is a mess most of the time.  And theology must be lived out in the midst of that mess. ~Chuck Colson

In the midst of the mess:
A glimpse of eternity,
A flicker of light,
A bubble of clarity…

A Divine Architect?

Notice the way God does things; then fall into line.  Don’t fight the ways of God, for who can straighten out what He has made crooked? ~Ecclesiastes 7:13

What is He designing?
What is He working out for you, or in you?
What is He doing…is it for you…or for Him?

For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels–[everything] got started in Him and finds its purpose in Him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment. ~Colossians 1:16-17

Whatever it is.
Whatever He is doing,
There is purpose in it.

And the purpose will be found in Him, alone.
For everything we try to create in this life will be meaningless,
Until God brings meaning to it.

It’s all about Him.
It’s not about me.

Not I But Christ

(Meet the music minister from my church, Scott Dyer…
and listen to one of my favorite songs!  Just hit play.

Great book on this subject:  Bold Purpose)


6 responses »

  1. You have brought me an encouragement tonight, that I always seem to need. Something about that part that all of us find this out . . . life will crash around us. Crazy of me perhaps, but I find it comforting that I am not alone in the crashed life.
    God bless you and the messages of hope you bring us from Him! 🙂 Now, to listen to your song. Thank you!

  2. You are not alone, Deb. Not at all.
    And, you’re welcome…I’m glad to return the encouragement. 😉
    May God bless you and give you peace.
    ♥ ♥ ♥

  3. God has really been putting the emphasis of grace on my heart this past year.

    Not that grace gives us the permission to sin because regardless we are going to sin-it’s in our human nature-but that it removes the condemnation when we do and it creates opportunity for us to turn more and more away from it. And I believe the “grace of catastrophe” is a part of that; never knowing or truly understanding what God’s grace means unless we face a catastrophe especially one caused by our own sin because then the grace is personal.

    Don’t know if that made sense. Thank you for the reminder that even in the middle of a storm, God’s grace is sufficient, and that He is working it out not just for our good but most importantly for His glory.

    Love and blessings.

  4. Hey, Sweet Girl! You always make sense to me. 🙂
    I totally agree. When we’ve caused the catastrophe from our own sin, then understanding His grace may be the only thing that will enable us to hold up our heads again. (Especially when others won’t let us forget.) I am amazed at His extravagance.

    Blessings to you, Ayla!
    (When do you leave for New York?)

  5. very much a needed reminder…Grace…if only we could fully comprehend it, and remember through out a day…we are totally submersed in it..swimming in it, if you will.

    I believe we need the catastrophic at times to eliminate all the distractions and false gods, and look up to the only one who really loves and really deserves our attention. I love this writing Princess! thanks for being faithful to always have something here when i need to read something good! love you

  6. I so agree, Darla! The catastrophes of life help “to eliminate all the distractions and false gods,” so that we are able to focus on the One who IS. I was reminded this weekend of Chris Tomlin’s version of Amazing Grace and it never fails to bring such comfort. I love the chorus:

    My chains are gone
    I’ve been set free
    My God, my Savior has ransomed me
    And like a flood His mercy rains
    Unending love, Amazing grace

    We’re swimmin’ in it!! Amen, Princess…like a flood His mercy, love, and grace rains down upon us. What else do we need but Him…

    I love you, too. So thankful you’re blogging again. 🙂

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