a life of uncertain certainty

it is said that nothing is certain but death and taxes – and even those two things are filled with uncertainty if you ask me.  Taxes and tax laws are continually changing, we can never be certain of the amounts we will owe from year to year as tax rates increase or decrease, deductions are added or taken away, the rules change and all the while new taxes seem to appear unannounced just when we thought we had the old stuff figured out.

And death? – death is surrounded by uncertainty.   When will it happen?  How will it happen?  What will cause it?  Where will it take place and under what circumstances?  And of course, then the uncertainty of death really begins – where do I go when I die?  Is death the end?  If not, what comes next?  What does life after death look like?

We may feel we live in uncertain times what with all the school shootings and church burnings and wars and rumors of wars, but truth is, life has always been this uncertain, ever since Adam and Eve were put out of the garden.  What we are experiencing today is nothing new.

Abraham knew about uncertainty but he knew something else as well.  When God told Abraham “Leave your country, your people, and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.”, he did just that.  “So Abraham left, as the Lord had told him;  . . . they set out for the land of Canaan,”  (Genesis 12:1, 4-5)  Although the destination of Canaan is supplied here, Hebrews 11:8 tells us, “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.”

Talk about uncertainty!  Abraham was asked to leave what he did know, his country, his people, his father’s house and journey to what he did not know in some undisclosed destination.  Everything about Abraham’s future was uncertain, where he was going, how long it would take to get there, what conditions he would encounter along the way, what people, what obstacles, –  Abraham couldn’t exactly google travel info and weather conditions so he could know what to expect, how to pack, how to prepare.  Were there mountains to cross?  Deserts? Would there be pasture for his flocks along the way?  He would be the alien, the outsider; would he be received well or would they kill him and take his wealth for themselves?

So if everything was so uncertain, why did Abraham obey God’s instruction? Could it be that Abraham knew the only thing certain was God Himself?  Genesis 15:6 tells us, “Abram believed the Lord, and He credited it to him as righteousness.” Abraham’s faith in God overrode all the uncertainties of his circumstances.

Abraham lived a life of uncertain certainty.  I can relate.  I do too.  I am surrounded by uncertainty in this world and in my daily life.  I do not know with certainty what the rest of this day holds for me, let alone the future.  But, like Abraham, I know the One who does know.  I know the God who said, “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come.” (Isaiah 46:10)

Uncertainty is no respecter of persons, both the rich and the poor alike deal with uncertainty daily.  While the rich are watching Wall Street, wondering if their stocks will gain or lose, the poor are watching and wondering as well; wondering where their next meal is coming from or if they will eat at all today, watching the weather as they wonder where they will seek shelter should it turn cold or stormy.

Living with certainty in an uncertain world would seem to be an impossibility. There is nothing sure, it would seem.  Those who achieve fame or fortune live with the uncertainty of how long it will last before it is no longer theirs.  Jobs are gained, jobs are lost.  Relationships, including marriages, come with no certain promise of lasting.  Illness strikes without warning as do hurricanes and tornadoes.  We make our plans but there is no certainty that the plans we make will come to pass.

“But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations.”  (Psalm 33:11)  This is something  I can be certain of amid all the uncertainty that I experience in my daily life.

The secret to living a life of uncertain certainty is found in these words, ” . . . I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him for that day.”  (2 Timothy 1:12)  Yes, ” . . . faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”  (Hebrews 11:1)  “For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”  (2 Corinthians 4:18)

Now I see “through a glass darkly” but I don’t need to see, I just need to trust the One I am following.  For “We live by faith, not by sight.”  (2 Corinthians 5:7)  “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

Living a life of uncertainty is the lot of the human condition here on earth.  We may think we are in control as we make our plans, but we are not. “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”  (Proverbs 19:21)

Our circumstances are always going to be ever-changing and uncertain.  But we can choose to be ” . . .  like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.”  (Matthew 7:24-25)

“Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal.”  (Isaiah 26:4)

I have no choice about the “uncertain” part of this life I live, but I do have a choice about the “certain” part.  I can choose who or what I will follow, who or what I will put my trust in.  I can live a life of uncertain certainty because I belong to the One who is certain to keep each and every one of His promises.  “Then you will know that I am the Lord; those who hope in Me will not be disappointed.”  (Isaiah 49:23)

Like Abraham my daily journey is filled with uncertainty.  I do not know the end from the beginning – but I know the One who does, my Heavenly Father.  I belong to Him, I follow Him – I am His.  And because of this I live a life of uncertain certainty.  What a wonderful way to walk through this life!  Praise God!

” . . .  for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.”  (2 Timothy 1:12)

sincerely,         Grace Day














where are you?

That’s the question we often ask of God.  That’s the question God asked of Adam and Eve so long ago in the garden as they hid from Him among the trees.  “Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as He was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.  But the Lord God called to the man, ‘Where are you?’ ”  (Genesis 3:8-9)

I feel like God still asks that same question today of me at times.  And I have to ask myself, ‘do I, like Adam and Eve attempt to hide from God sometimes?’  Why would I hide from my Heavenly Father’s loving, comforting, protective presence?  Job wasn’t hiding from God.  Job was doing just the opposite.  Job was trying to find God so that he could question God.  Job wanted answers to his questions and his first question was, “where are You, God?”  Job was seeking God, convinced that God had abandoned him, based on his own dire circumstances and great losses. Job no longer felt God’s presence and protection abiding with him and he was desperate to know again the relationship he thought he had lost forever.

Am I like Job?  Aren’t each of us at times?  We wonder, where is God in our circumstances, in our suffering?  I know I, like Job, cry out, “where are You, God?” Do I rely on my circumstances and my feelings to determine if God is present with me, rather than rely on His promises to me that I find in His word?  Do God’s words, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” ring true for me?  Do I believe them over my current circumstances?  Do I believe them over how I feel at the moment?

If my Heavenly Father were to ask of me the same question He asked of Adam and Eve in the garden, “where are you?”,  how would I answer Him?

Truthfully, some days I am in the pit, paralyzed by fear or doubt or discouragement.  Some days I am on the mountain top – though all too briefly – much more briefly than my stays in the pit.  For the air is thin on the mountain top and there is no level ground on which I can lie and rest up for the journey yet ahead of me.

Some days you will find me in the valley, while some seasons I spend in the desert – thirsty and wandering, searching for an oasis.  Some days I can be found drowning in self-pity or in rough seas, fighting just to stay afloat.  Then from the flood to the furnace I go, wondering if I will survive the flames.

You may find me on the roadside of the race; injured and weak, cast aside, watching others run the race – surprised that no one hears my cries and stops to offer a hand of help.  You may find me wandering far from the path – pursuing what does not please God nor satisfy me.  You may find me lost in a forest deep or climbing a cliff impossibly steep.

You may find me crawling in a cave or conquering heights that I might gain a better view – but may You find me always, ever, on my knees, while seeking more of You!  For knees can bend and head can bow, no matter where I be – on mountain’s peak or in ocean’s depth, I am never far from Thee.

And with this revelation it is abundantly clear to me, I am the one who waxes and wanes, who comes and goes, in my relationship with my Heavenly Father.  He is right where He has always been and always will be.  God never changes, never slumbers nor sleeps.  He is an ever present help in trouble, His faithfulness endures to all generations.  His mercies are new every morning.

My Heavenly Father is right there waiting and watching, just like the father in the parable of the prodigal son.  God is ready to receive me again and again – as many times as I look up and see that I have again wandered away like a small child chasing a butterfly or some other elusive longing that she forgot was already completely fulfilled by the God she so casually left behind in order to search for what she already possessed.

And so I find my way again to the God who “fills everything in every way.”, including me.  (Ephesians 1:23)  And when I do, I find my Heavenly Father waiting and willing to receive me with open arms and to celebrate my return, just like the father of the prodigal son received him in the parable Jesus told.

And here’s the wonderful truth that Job, even in all his troubles and loss and suffering knew – even when he couldn’t find God, Job never doubted that God knew right where he was and would come to him when the time was right.  Job was never lost to God.  Job was never hidden from God.  God never needed to ask of Job, “where are you?”  God knew.

I, too am not hidden from God.  Even in all my wanderings, all my comings and goings,  God does not need to ask of me, “where are you?”  God knows.

“But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold.”  (Job 23:10)

“the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”  (Psalm 121:8)

“Where can I go from Your Spirit?  Where can I flee from Your presence?  If I go up to the heavens, You are there; if I make my bed in the depths, You are there.  If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast.”

“If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,’ even the darkness will not be dark to You; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to You.”   (Psalm 139:7-12)

sincerely,            Grace Day








queries of the quest

Quests are supposed to be about finding something, presumably something of value.  Quests are about finding answers, not creating more questions.   Or are they?  My last quest left me full of unanswered questions and lacking the item I so diligently sought.

Quite unsatisfying if you ask me.  Searching for something that doesn’t exist, or for something that was but now is not.  Is anything permanent anymore?

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.”  (Luke 21:33)

“The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.”  (Isaiah 40:8)

Man builds his monuments that he might be remembered, while he returns to dust leaving behind his monuments – empty, speechless, unable to tell his tale, when there is no one left to remember who it was that made the monument in the first place.

We toil to make a mark while we are here, to leave a footprint that will endure in our absence, giving evidence that we did indeed pass through this way.  But our footprints fade a little with the passing of each generation, until like footprints in the sand they are completely obliterated by waves and wind, as if they had never been at all.  And when there is no one left to tell the story our footprints once told, no one left who knows our story, no one left to carry our memory in their heart, the erasure is complete.

What then is it that will last?  The things I hang onto or the things I let go?  Is it the skyscrapers, proud monuments to man, that will endure or is it the bridges, lowly paths providing passage to connect us on our journey?  Will it be the things that I accumulated or those things I gave away?

These are all queries of life’s quest, life’s quest to find meaning and purpose amid the mundane.  And each of us is on that particular quest whether we realize it or not.  We may be on our own personal quest for fame or fortune or happiness or love or health or peace or knowledge or understanding or for some rare treasure that we want to possess; but underneath it all, our quest is simply to make sense of the life we are living.  We want answers to life’s questions, that is our quest.  We spend our time dealing with the queries of our quest.

Jesus asked some relevant questions of those He spent time with,  such as, “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?  Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?”  (Mark 8:36-37)  or “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”  (Matthew 6:27)  or ” ‘But what about you?’ He asked. ‘Who do you say I am?’ ”  (Matthew 16:15)

Jesus asked this last question of Peter, but truthfully He also asks this question of each one of us personally.  And just like Peter, my answer to this question makes all the difference in the world.  An eternal difference.  A truthful answer to this question leads me to a successful conclusion of my life’s quest.  The answer to this question leads me to the answers of all the other queries of my quest.

“Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ ”  (Matthew 16:16)

Jesus said, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  (John 8:32)

A quest is a grand adventure and life is definitely a quest – a quest for answers.  So part of questing is questioning, the most important part.  There cannot be a quest without questions.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”  (Matthew 7:7-8)

“Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”  (Jeremiah 33:3)

happy questing my fellow questers!     sincerely,         Grace Day






treasure carriers

that’s what we are – treasure carriers.  Now this may be hard to believe and take some getting used to – but it is true – we are treasure carriers.  This seems a contradiction because I have been a treasure hunter, a treasure seeker but do not think of myself as a treasure carrier or a treasure holder.  I may long to discover hidden treasure (like people do when they search their attics and basements in hopes of finding something of value among all the broken, discarded, outdated items classified officially as junk), but it would not occur to me to imagine that I already possess and carry great treasure within myself.

There are pleasure seekers and treasure seekers;  there are ring bearers, cup bearers, banner bearers and armor bearers; those who come bearing good news and bad.  But treasure?  There are those who carry treasure?  and these treasure carriers walk among us on a daily basis?  and I am one of them?

Treasure is usually under lock and key, guarded well, not easily accessible to just anyone.  Or it is hidden away in unknown, secret places.  (hence the allure of treasure maps)  Treasure is not for the masses, but only a select few perhaps, such as those who are royalty or those who are pirates by trade.  There are safes and bank vaults and museums for art treasures.  There are keys and locks and alarms and armed guards.  We go to great expense, to great lengths to protect our treasures and to keep them safe.  We take great care to provide places worthy of housing our treasures, places such as palaces and museums in which we keep what we deem to be of great value.

The crown jewels of England are stored in the Tower of London.  Museums are large, beautiful buildings fit for housing precious paintings, sculptures and other valuable works of art.  Except for treasure that lies buried beneath the ocean on sunken ships from times past, most treasure is kept in surroundings matching the exalted nature of the treasure it contains.

That’s why it is so surprising to me that I should carry a treasure of priceless value in my earthly body.  It makes no sense.  But this is what Paul meant when he said, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”  (2 Corinthians 4:7)

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 explains it this way, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?  You are not your own; you were bought at a price.  Therefore honor God with your body.”  That’s the treasure – God’s Holy Spirit – come to live in me; to live in anyone who asks Jesus for the gift of His life giving presence.

Paul wrote in his letter to the Colossians about, “the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints.  To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”  (Colossians 1:26-27)  Glorious riches, in me?

I am the “jar of clay” Paul was talking about in 2 Corinthians, as containing this treasure.  Some translations say “earthen vessels”, which I love for how accurately it describes me, seeing as how we were formed from the earth.  “the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”  (Genesis 2:7)

“for He knows how we are formed, He remembers that we are dust.”  (Psalm 103:14)    God knows how we are formed because He is the One who formed us! God told Adam, “By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”  (Genesis 3:19)

So my earthly body hardly seems a suitable place, a place worthy of housing treasure of any kind, let alone the glorious riches of an eternal, imperishable, living Creator.  Beautiful, valuable treasure deserves an equally beautiful, expensive dwelling place.  But God chose to make His home with me and in me?

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”   (2 Corinthians 4:7)

Jesus said in John 14:23, “If anyone loves Me, he will obey My teaching.  My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”  Paul says to the Ephesians, “I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts though faith.”  (Ephesians 3:16-17)

“And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you.”  (Romans 8:11)  So there it is.  God’s Spirit lives in me.

I am carrying this imperishable treasure around in my perishable body, this treasure of great value is housed in this home made from dust!  Isaiah 57:15 tells me something about where God dwells, “I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.”

That’s the contradiction that is beyond my understanding.  The Creator of the universe who dwells in unapproachable light also dwells with me, His Spirit lives in me!   And because I am a broken, earthen vessel, the light of this treasure of His Presence shines out through each and every crack for all to see!

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you;  . . .   And I will put My Spirit in you and move you to follow My decrees and be careful to keep My laws.”  (Ezekiel 36:26-27)

I am a jar of clay, I am an earthen vessel,  I am a treasure carrier!

sincerely,          Grace Day




put on your oxygen mask!

how many times have I heard that instruction?  well, every time I’ve been on a plane getting ready for takeoff, I’ve heard that instruction as part of the pre-flight routine that every airline observes.  Now when I say I’ve heard this instruction, a more accurate admission would be that it has been given while my mind is busy with other things, such as wondering if I remembered to pack ? or if I remembered to turn off ?.  or I’m thinking about whatever or whoever it is that awaits me at my destination. All this preoccupation leaves little chance that I am truly hearing these pre-flight, in case of emergency, instructions.

Nevertheless, the instructions, “put on your own oxygen mask first, before attempting to assist or to care for anyone else around you.” are given before every flight as part of the “what to do in case of an emergency speech.”  Why?  because without my own oxygen mask on, I would be totally incapacitated, unable to help myself, or anyone else.  I would be useless.

This instruction to put on my own oxygen mask first, reminds me of an instruction Jesus gave in Matthew 7:5 when He said, ” You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”  Good advice for anyone who wants to help someone else.  I need to take care of my own mask or my own plank first, before I can be in a position to offer assistance to someone else.

Putting on my oxygen mask first, before doing anything else, makes perfect sense in light of Jesus words in Luke 6:39, ” . . .  Can a blind man lead a blind man?  Will they not both fall into a pit?”  If I’m not connected to the oxygen source myself, I can’t help anyone else to get connected to the same life saving oxygen source.  It just isn’t possible.

Jesus offered other survival instructions as well.  “Do not judge, and you will not be judged.  Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned.  Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”  (Luke 6:37)  In each case, something is required of me first, some action I need to take before I can relate rightly to other people.

Jesus gave the ultimate survival instruction when He said, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12)  I am not to sit back and wait to see how others will treat me before I decide my actions towards them.  I am to put on my oxygen mask first, then treat them well, minister to them, serve their needs.  I can do this because my needs are met as I am already attached to the life giving source of oxygen.

I have heeded the instruction to put on my own oxygen mask first.  I am plugged in. I am connected to the source that sustains life.  And that makes all the difference.

Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and My Father is the gardener.   . . .  Remain in Me, and I will remain in you.  No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine.  Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me.  I am the vine; you are the branches.  If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.”  (John 15:1,4-5)

sincerely,         Grace Day

what’s in a word?

“And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.”  (Genesis 1:3)

Moses spoke to the Israelites saying, ” ‘ Take to heart all the words I have solemnly declared to you this day, so that you may command your children to obey carefully all the words of this law.  They are not just idle words for you – they are your life.’ ” (Deuteronomy 32:46-47)

“My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words.  Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man’s whole body.”  (Proverbs 4:20-22)

“Jesus answered, ‘It is written: Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ”  (Matthew 4:4)

Jesus said, “The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.” (John 6:63)

I’m seeing a pattern here, a pattern of words as nourishment, nourishment for our souls.  God’s words are life to us; they are life giving, life changing, life sustaining, power-packed words, every one of them.

The writer of Hebrews summed it up best when he said, “For the word of God is living and active.  Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”  (Hebrews 4:12)

There is power in this living word to convict me, to change me, to sustain me, to fill me full of wisdom and joy, to empower me to live the life that God has called me to live. This living word is eternal.  “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”  (John 1:1)

“The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.”  (Isaiah 40:8)

Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.” (Luke 21:33)

I want these living words living in my heart.  I will proclaim along with King David what he wrote in Psalm 119:11, “I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You.”

sincerely,    Grace Day






the quest

I must confess to you, dear readers, that I have never been on a quest before – well never officially or on purpose anyway. nothing that I’ve signed up for or prepared for, or trained for in anticipation of participating in this thing called a quest.  The notion of a quest implies something of great purpose, a noble, worthy, cause to pursue something of great value at great personal expense, a journey both dangerous and exciting.

And yet without my noticing, I find myself embarked upon a quest of sorts these past few days for the commonest of objects (or so I thought until my search began). It started without preparation or planning, I simply sought to purchase the needed item when I was at one of those large stores that has everything from food to clothes to household stuff to electronics to hygiene to cleaning supplies. I mean there is nothing these stores don’t stock, except the item I wanted to purchase.

So my first revelation was that this item is no longer common place or easy to find. This new knowledge has turned my casual search into a full blown quest.  Scarcity has a way of making an item more desirable if not more valuable.  My quest now involves going from store to store in search of this elusive item.  Not exactly scaling mountains to find the object of my desire, but driving in crazy, city traffic might just qualify as daringly dangerous.  Certainly my persistence in continuing to seek out this item even though I am met with defeat (a no, we don’t carry that) at each store, should count for something, right?

And so my quest continues, leaving me discouraged and defeated because I cannot find and purchase the object of my quest, the item I desire to obtain and possess, the thing I have determined that I need, that I must have and cannot believe that it no longer exists. (except in memory of days gone by)  It is sad but true, my quest for the ever elusive recipe card has ended in failure.  The irony of this failed quest is that I, myself, am not a cook. (so I don’t need recipes, therefore I don’t need recipe cards) I sought these for a friend.

Questions from the quest abound.  Why has this once common household item vanished from store shelves? (was there a conspiracy or collusion?)  Do people no longer cook?  Or do they pull up recipes on their phone, eliminating the need to have them written on a recipe card?  Or with all the cooking shows available now are people just “winging it” rather than following a recipe?  Then there’s eating out or having premade dinners delivered, (like Nutrisystem or Weight Watchers) again no need for a recipe.

I have actually experienced the loss of other unrelated products that I have used. They just mysteriously disappear without notice from store shelves, giving way to other brands and other products in their place.  Some things just cannot be found, that once could be found, no matter how long or how diligently I look for them. So this is not my first unsuccessful search in life.

Sometimes I feel like that with God.  I have felt His Presence, known His comfort and His mercy and then I look for Him again and feel like He’s not there.  I feel the need to search for Him, to find what I once possessed.  It’s then that these words are particularly reassuring to me.  ” ‘Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.  I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord”

This is the reassurance that I long for.  My quest to find God will not end in defeat but in victory.  I have His word on that!  He will be found by me if I am seeking Him.  When I am experiencing hardship or difficulty of any kind I am likely to feel more keenly my desire to “find” God and to know that He is with me.

These words in Isaiah 46:1 remind me that, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”  He is ever-present, I don’t have to go on a quest and search hi and low for Him.  When my pain in this life is great I can know that, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”  (Psalm 34:18)  God is present with me, He is close; my quest to know Him will not prove fruitless.  God will never disappear.  ” ‘I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.’ ”  (Revelation 1:8)  ” . . .  from everlasting to everlasting You are God.” (Psalm 90:2)  God will not simply cease to exist, like the recipe cards I sought apparently did.

God will not become unavailable or impossible to find.  On the contrary ” . . . He who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.   . . .   the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”  (Psalm 121:3-4 & 8)

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”  (Matthew 7:7-8)

“Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”  (Jeremiah 33:3)

“I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.”  (Psalm 34:4)

My quest to find God will not end like my quest for the no longer existent recipe cards.  Not only did God promise that He would be found but He actually is on His own quest seeking my heart!  “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with Me.”  (Revelation 3:20)

I may be the seeker but I am also the sought after!  (see post “the pursued”)

my quest for my Creator is a quest that will end well!

sincerely,      Grace Day










my prayerful plea


open my ears, my eyes, my mind, my heart, my spirit to You –  to hear what You would speak, to see what You would show me, to learn what You would teach me, to believe all that You are, Your truth, and to receive Your presence, Your Holy Spirit.

open my hands, that I would not hold on so tightly to the things of this world with my fists clenched, closed to everything and to everyone, mirroring my heart – admitting no one –

open my hands, lay them out empty, with nothing to offer up, nothing to give in exchange, no longer full of my dreams and my plans, no longer full of self, palms toward heaven, ready to receive what You want to fill them with.  You alone are the Giver of every good gift.

and grant that I would be grateful for what You give, not wanting something more or something different as Eve did in the garden so long ago, but that I would be content because I trust in Your goodness and Your grace towards me, knowing that

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”  (James 1:17)

“In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:  ‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.  For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes.  Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’ ”  (Matthew 13:14-15)

I don’t want to be like the people Isaiah talked about Lord.  I cry out along with King David,  “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”  (Psalm 51:10)

and God says to me, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.  And I will put My Spirit in you and move you to follow My decrees and be careful to keep My laws.    . . .   you will be (Mine) My people, and I will be your God.  I will save you from all your uncleanness.”  (Ezekiel 36:26-29)

and I answer “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in Your law.  Teach me Your way, O Lord, and I will walk in Your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear Your name.”  (Psalm 119:18 & Psalm 86:11)

sincerely,       Grace Day








from contradiction to conviction

the line wasn’t that long but it was not moving so I was both bored and in a hurry at the same time.  (but I often operate in “hurry mode” so that’s nothing new) lacking a magazine display to catch my eye and help me to pass the time by reading the headlines, I eventually noticed a brightly lit screen at the counter near the register, advertising the lottery.  Pictures and words flashed as the screen displayed ads for different jackpots, rotating through a sequence of ads and then starting over again.

It was at this point that one particular lottery ticket ad caught my attention.  It displayed the amount to be won, odds of winning, number of winners at this location in the past etc.  It all looked so glamorous and exciting.  It all looked so possible.  And there in the middle of the screen, in big, bright, bold letters were these words,  “Gamble Responsibly – Gamblers’ Addiction Hotline ___ ___ ____.”

So there it was.  The very same neon sign that was inviting, encouraging, yes even enticing me to buy some lottery tickets, (to gamble)  was also providing me the number to call to get some help should my gambling become an addiction.  The cause and the cure together on the same sign.  How convenient!  How thoughtful of the lottery people!  Were they in essence saying, “we know this might ruin your life even though it looks like fun now, so we want you to call this number, not us, when your life falls apart and you are bankrupt.”

This contradiction stuck with me as I left the store.  The same slick, shiny ad that promised me a chance at a richer, brighter future also predicted that I might need the help of a hotline if I purchased their product and oh so thoughtfully provided me with the number they knew I would eventually need.

“Gamble Responsibly” is an inherent contradiction.  Gambling by definition is taking a chance, risking something in the hope of gaining something more.  It is risky behavior, which is why people find it so exciting.  Risky behavior is the opposite of responsible behavior, so by definition there is no such thing as “responsible gambling.”  If there were, it wouldn’t be gambling, it would be a routine purchase of a sure thing.  If I am gambling, I am taking a risk – whether a small one or a big one – but a risk nonetheless;  so I am not being responsible.  I can’t be both responsible and risky at the same time.  This is the contradiction that leads to my conviction.

Life is full of contradictions.  I am full of them myself I realize as I eat my high calorie dessert and drink my diet, zero calorie soda.  So much for consistency.  I stand corrected, convicted by the contradiction of my own actions.

And that’s not the only contradiction that convicts me.  Luke 6:46 asks the question of me, “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?”  I live out that contradiction in my life all too often.  If I say that Jesus is the Lord of my life, then I must do things His way rather than relying on my way, which is often self serving instead of serving others.  I can’t say that Jesus is Lord of my life and then refuse to follow His directions, but instead “lean on my own understanding.”

There is no escaping the contradiction of the following words; “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ yet hates his brother, he is a liar.  For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.  And He has given us this command:  Whoever loves God must also love his brother.”  (1 John 4:20-21)

The contradiction of someone claiming to love God but hating the people around them, is quite convicting.  Just as I can’t gamble responsibly because that’s an impossibility, I can’t love God and hate other people at the same time.  It is an impossible contradiction that convicts me to my core every time I find myself attempting to do just that. The conviction is that I am a liar.  I am a liar if I am saying I love God and then living in a way that is not loving towards others.  I can’t live in a way that does not support my claim of loving God.

The contradiction of words versus deeds is always very convicting.  There are these words in James 2:14-17, “Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food.  If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?  What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds?  Can such faith save him?”

The contradictions in the following words of 1 Corinthians 1:27-29, are also very convicting.  “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.  He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things – and the things that are not – to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before Him.”

And finally Paul says in 2 Corinthians 12:10, “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.”   A contradiction that convicts me every time.

sincerely,     Grace Day