Friday, December 2, 2011

Grace for the Future

"The world is ours.  Life is ours.  Death is ours.  God reigns so supremely on behalf of His elect that everything which faces us in a lifetime of obedience and ministry will be subdued by the mighty hand of God and made the servant of our holiness and our everlasting joy in God."
-John Piper, Future Grace

I love this book.  A friend lent it to me after I confessed a recent struggle with anxiety and depression.  Both states of mind have always been lurking in my life-some seasons more than others.  I am a classic worrier and one who can get way off track in the midst of overwhelming circumstances or thrown-off plans.  The future always looms darkly in the back of my mind.

Case in point:  My 16 month old daughter is not walking yet.  She is not even remotely interested.  In my worst moments of anxiety about the future, she will be diagnosed with some condition where she is wheelchair bound for the rest of her life, we have to sell our house to get a one-story ranch and somehow this will be all my fault.

That looks really funny now that I type it out.

This book is really helping me stop that train of thought.  I've never, ever thought of grace as something that will sustain my future.  I guess my real struggle is with unbelief, mostly with thinking that God won't take care of me, so I have to take care of myself.  Piper has blown that idea out of the water with this book.  He does a great job of taking the promises of God and showing me how they can help me be confident in the character of God and in His hand in my life.  Even if the circumstances I described above actually happen, I can rest securely in knowing that God has a purpose for it all and that He is infinitely kind and good towards His creation in ways that we won't understand on this side of life.   I loved the above quote so much that I wrote it in my journal so I could refer to it in my most anxiety-driven moments. I should probably just have it tattooed on my forehead!

It's so comforting to remember that God is leading all of life AND death.  For Christians, as Piper said, Death is even ours.  It opens up the door into our true Home, where all the overwhelming circumstances of life will finally make sense.  Our "momentary troubles" will pass away and we will see how they worked for the glory of God when we trusted Him with them.  I am looking forward to that moment and in the meantime learning to trust the Lord for His future provision and grace in my life and the lives of those I love.

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