Worry doesn’t work. Because just like we can’t anticipate what we really need, we also can’t anticipate the lavish grace that will meet us there.
Where’s it going to come from?
The question hung in the humid air of the screened-in porch as I sat there, knees pulled tightly to my chest. Steam poured from my cup of tea, all sluggish and slow. Letting it out of that mug into the heavy air felt like pouring a Dixie cup of water into the ocean.
It didn’t really seem to go anywhere.
And neither did my questions.
Will I have the strength for that?
What will I say to them if that thing they’re dreading happens?
A bird sang.
I sat. Quiet.
The questions lingered like the steam.
And then suddenly, without warning, it was pouring. Deluge-style pouring. Split seconds ago, the air was heavy with moisture unseen, but now the clouds were ripped open at the seams and spilling their contents onto the back porch with ferocity. Rain made oceans on the concrete and gushed at full strength through the gutters.
And in rushed His Word.
“Look at the birds of the air: They neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” (Matthew 6:26)
I watched the rain splash against the screen, slapping against it and rolling in sheets over the porch out into the yard.
“God, I know you give us all things in the moment we need them.”
This past Sunday, our pastor Matt preached from Matthew 15, the story of Jesus feeding the 4,000. From just a few loaves of bread, everyone ate and had more than they could finish … and that was after three days of hanging out in the wilderness, wondering when they might eat again. Jesus tore that bread until there were seven extra baskets full of uneaten bread.
Why seven extra baskets? God knew exactly how much was needed. And there was no one else around to eat the leftovers.
“Those seven extra baskets are a picture of God’s lavish grace.”
Because God is so much more. So, so much more than anything we can ask or think.
I remember a few years back when my friend Abbey’s dad passed away after a long battle with cancer. That thing had finally happened, the thing she wondered if she would know how to deal with if and when it happened.
What she said in that moment stuck with me. “I couldn’t have imagined the way it would hurt. But I also couldn’t have imagined the way God would give me grace in a way I had never experienced it before. It’s sweeter than anything I could’ve imagined.”
The sky ripped open.
Grace rushed down with ferocity.
And that’s why worry doesn’t work.
Because just like we can’t anticipate what we really need, we also can’t anticipate the lavish grace that will meet us there.
A lot of times we think of grace as “decaffeinated grace” that pats us on the hand and tells us everything’s going to be okay, Matt said, quoting Dane Ortlund’s “Defiant Grace.”
But that’s never what grace was meant to be.
What God rains down on us in our moment of need is “the high-octane grace that takes our conscience by the scruff of the neck and breathes new life into us with a pardon so scandalous that we cannot help but be changed.”
We get seven baskets extra.
We get God and all the peace, provision, joy and hope He has to offer.
And we get that by walking with Him willingly into the wilderness, following His voice, not knowing when the bread will come, but valuing His presence above what fills our stomachs.
He’s never failed us yet. We see that in His Word. We see it in our lives.
And we trust it for tomorrow.