As the redeemed of Jesus Christ, if we are ever to find true refreshment in our desert wanderings, it will be as we choose to dwell in God’s presence and in the newness of His daily mercies through faith. Our trials tend to force us, like pushy but invaluable friends, to learn hands-on what it is to live in the grace of the moment.
We live in the grace of the moment by continually recognizing both the immense need and the immense blessing of each moment (by developing a conscious and habitual attitude that says, “I am so desperately needy AND I am so abundantly blessed.”) and by relying on the Holy Spirit to teach us exactly how to reconcile the two. This happens as we first learn to live in the reality of the eternal, for it's an ever-present awareness of eternity that liberates us to receive every present moment with thankfulness and live it to the fullest, without setting up false expectations for it or worrying about the next.
When we are convinced that our life is hidden with Christ and He alone is the Prize, that this world is not our home and we are simply on assignment here, and that our pain and failures are only temporary but, with His redemption, the beauty and wisdom to be gained from them are eternal, we are set free from living in the regret of yesterday or in the fear of tomorrow. We can instead live in the blessing of the right now which fully meets the need of the right now because both need and blessing are gifts from the Father to get us ready for eternity and to meet our Bridegroom face to face. We have need of nothing but Him and His grace, and His fullness dwells in us.
The life lived in the grace of the moment is the life absolutely surrendered to the reality of God’s wisdom, God’s character and God’s sovereignty over it, for in entrusting ourselves to those, we acknowledge that He has a set and planned purpose for our lives, that it is good, and that He is powerful enough to carry it to completion. His wisdom assures us that He has always had in mind, down to the smallest details, exactly what He is doing with us; His character, that His heart is ever faithful toward us; and His sovereignty, that His directing arm cannot be shaken or thwarted. They reveal to us explicitly that He loves us with all of His mind and heart and strength, and in that knowledge we find perfect rest. As beloved children we know that we will be taken care of without having to know how it will happen or what it will look like.
In our helplessness we can simply look up to Him, reach out for Him and cry to Him in humility and thanksgiving, for our God cannot resist eyes and arms and hearts doing that. He always picks up and holds close to Himself those who long for Him. We may think that what we most desire are answers and perfectly successful plans and reasonable control over our lives, but what our souls crave is comfort and intimacy and love, and we can have those the instant we fully surrender to His embrace. He may sometimes hide His face from our “Why?”s but never from our “Hold me!” cries.
If we mistakenly suppose this life to be about this life, we will miss the present grace for fretting over and fighting for all the blessings we don’t have or fearing that those we do will be lost, until we find that they have become an unbearable millstone around our necks. If we pin our hope on anything in this temporary world it will be no stronger than that—a mere pin, easily pulled out and easily broken when life weighs too heavily upon it.
Enduring hope can only be based on God’s absolute promises given to us in His Word, not on our own expectations or wishes or impressions of how things ought to be. Enduring hope lets go of everything that can be lost to take hold of everything that cannot, and in doing so is actually able to squeeze the sweetest nectar out of those released and perishable blessings so that even their losses, though painful, do not leave a bitter aftertaste. For it’s often in the loss of a thing that its worth to us becomes most precious, and by letting it go with grace we can best savor its purest delights.
Realizing that the pain runs so deep only because the beauty ran so deep and that without it having once touched us we wouldn’t now know the emptiness of its loss, our grief will eventually turn to thankfulness that it ever touched us at all, and we will be left awed by the mystery of its haunting. There's a peculiar kind of beauty that can only be experienced with the innate knowledge that the moment is fleeting, and the most intense beauty can only be seen in the presence of both light and shadows.
The ability to enjoy our tangible blessings is surely heightened by the conviction that they are not ours to possess, by the acceptance that their loss is inevitable, and by the understanding that they were never meant to satisfy. For the enjoyment, then, will be absent the tainting dread, the taking for granted, and the twisted expectations which so easily and often mar our earthly pleasures. We will relish what we’ve been given today but recognize it may very well be gone tomorrow, and even in that uncertainty we will find a contented peace, for in every loss there lurks a hidden blessing, and all that really matters can never be lost to us. It is just as important to be a good steward of our losses as it is of our more obvious blessings, for the beauty that comes from nobly and graciously accepting loss far exceeds any tangible beauty that can be taken.
Knowing that we belong to another time and place and that this one is only meant to lead us there, like the charming towns one passes through on the way to a better destination, we will take in the sights with wonder and delight but keep traveling on toward our true home. For these sights, though tantalizing, are like mere slivers of light from a crack under the door compared to the glory to be found in God’s Presence. But when received as personal gifts of His grace, they become to us a stage precisely and delicately set by a Lover to attract the attention of His beloved, to show off His greatness and show forth His beauty to win her heart, and our hearts indeed are won.
To live in the grace of the moment is to keep looking to Jesus—to Jesus’ feet to lay our burdens down, to Jesus’ arms to be held securely, to Jesus’ hands to receive all we need, and to Jesus’ face to know our only sure hope and hearts’ true desire.
Lord Jesus, merciful and all-sufficient One, in every need, small or great, tangible or intangible, give me the discernment to discover Your extravagant gifts of grace, the wisdom to receive them, the eagerness to open them and the passion to cherish them well. Give me eyes to see and a heart to fully enjoy with gratitude each blessing You have prepared for me today, for this very moment, and may I thrill to Your every advance of love.
The Perfect way to know for sure is “wait”
or you’re just leaping to the next thing you think that’s great, with a chance of running against fate.
Given a fairy-tale reality
You try your hardest to fight the insecurities
a motivation to finally learn to love yourself
The default setting,
”It's too good to be true."
embraced the idea of bliss soon fleeting
Was everything sweet and heart-melting
it was pleasant and pure, simple and warm
It's sitting closer to you just to steal a little warmth
a lovely secret you swear to kept to yourself unless Otherwise
It is a fresh start from hell since you got into your birthday skin
The Otherwise happened
it was so unexpected
like two painters meeting in the middle of the canvas
Realising what they were painting
was just half of something wonderful
and together you created a masterpiece without knowing
Retracing that your entire life was leading up
natural instinct kicked in
But being Home
Prevented it from happening
being home disconnects the motherboard
It was like being crippled your entire life
then given a walking stick
And I would ask for nothing more
Just grateful you added a new colour palette in my life
wishing. With you
I could finally
walk slower and enjoy the view I have always loved
Hoping we'd walk to the end hand in hand
How I wish we are so far away from the end
knowing even when we do
Hands would still be linked after crossing the line
I want the entire room to be filled with paintings we paint
trusting nothing could torch it, even with a burning fire Match
I would be your sword, if you would be my shield.
I would fight away your sorrows, if you protect me from myself.
If you would be my rose, I would be your water.
I would keep your roots alive, and show you how to thrive.
Without you, I would dissipate.
Eaten by the soil.
I would be the clock, if you would be my hands.
I'm stuck here in the past, and need you to move forward.
If you would be my kite, I would be your wind.
I'd take you to new heights.
Embracing every ounce of your beauty.
Showing you off to the world.
I guess it's nice to dream.
The ghost who walks
In this lie
I look for an answer
An answer to why
Chained and changing
In this skin
Its weakness gives birth to pain within
The voice that haunts me it claims to be you
You start your conversation with "you hate me so much"
But I know if you did you
wouldn't talk to me you'd be out of touch
You want my attention to claw at my skin
Love is hunger it aches within
I love you but that answer is thin
Hollow, the truth swallows all I say
I pray that you find me in a better day
Somewhere in the sun
For all the grey days
Pave the way
and I couldn't be without you this world.
I am a hole
that light cannot reach.
You all will fall in,
not suspecting a thing.
Looking up as you fall
is like a fading mirror -
you'll see all that you were
before it disappears.
This goes on for some time
before your back hits the dirt,
softly despite the distance.
When you feel the dark
and your imagination gets dull,
you will lie down and sleep.
And after you've slept
in me for the very first time,
you will not quite know it then,
but you will be nothing.
You'll be mine.
If I were asked to choose a side
There's no doubt in my mind
No matter the circumstances of any situation
I am absolutely, positively sure,
That for the remaining days of my life
After death and beyond eternity's time
I would, I will, I do
Forever pick you
Dusts glittering in the air
A spring of minds that never dies
leading the wild winds
taking the shape of waves
on different lands
Moon bestows her grace on darkness
when shadows make love with the eternity
The blood in veins rejoice for solitude
The untouched old souls
seek for salvation
forgetting unbound distance
urging to touch the breaths of fire
Unloved tears scream deeply inside
for the forgotten promise of their love
in the lost reign
I was searching for you, my blood bound love. I have waited for your return for what feels like centuries. My endless love for you has spanned continents in my quest to find you once more. I have waded through God’s great floods and skirted His hell fires, and continued to search for you still. I have fought through the evil wars of men to no victory and battled the darkest fears of my heart: that I should die and you would never again be mine. Yet, my need to love you has prevailed. It could not be buried in the sands of time or kept locked away in this dusty tomb. This feeble body and tired mind would not possess the will to survive if not for my immortal need for you, my love, the everlasting love that was bound to my eternal soul with the first taste of your blood fire. I am so very grateful to have found you once more, for my thirst for you, as the purest red love beats in my cold heart, could never die.
Lady of Ravenhill
So then, let's take the Foraminifera.
They lived, since they were, and were since they lived.
They did what they could since they were able.
In the plural since the plural,
although each one on its own
small limestone shell.
Time summarized them later
in layers, since layers,
without going into details,
since there's pity in the details.
And so I have before me
two views in one:
a mournful cemetery made
of tiny eternal rests
rising from the sea,
the azure sea, dazzling white cliffs,
cliffs that are here because they are.
Wislawa Szymborska from Here New Poems
translated from Polish by Clare Cavanagh