Friday, December 23, 2011

This is Grace

Today's guest devotion, by Cynthia Ruchti, is from: His Grace is Sufficient…Decaf is Not © 2011 Summerside Press

This is Grace

“In Him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.” Eph 1:7-8

My first grandchild entered life on a tsunami of pain. A devastating wave of emotional and spiritual concerns accompanied what should have been a joy-filled announcement—“Mom, we’re pregnant.”

The words were couched with shame and embarrassment. My son and his girlfriend weren’t married and faced far more challenges than the fact that she craved fish sticks and FunYums. They both knew they’d made bad decisions. One of those “what were we thinking?” decisions meant that now, rather than ironing out their relationship issues and dealing with a 747-worth of baggage, they—and we—prepared for a baby in the house.

As with most parents of young people in trouble, we were heartbroken over their choice to bypass the divine plan for a husband and wife to bring children into the world in God’s glorious timing. It’s not that we didn’t understand how a thing like that could happen. But my husband and I and everyone else concerned knew that the path my son and his girlfriend chose came laced with difficulties and complications they weren’t prepared to handle, challenges the Lord never intended them to experience.

The young woman was homeless and a legal issue kept them from getting married right away. My son had a home of his own a few miles from ours, but the expectant mom lived at our house. As her belly grew, we tamped our disappointment and chose to love and forgive, taking our cue from the mercy that floods the pages of Scripture. Together we walked through morning sickness and fatigue and community stares and whispers. We traversed a path of embarrassment and concern, and faced challenges that only happened to “other people.” We felt every bit of the baby weight on our own frames and somehow adopted the waves of nausea and the clenching of false labor in our own bodies.

But through it all we counted on the wonder of the Lord’s forgiveness, His redemptive heart, His ability to turn what started out distressing into something of great beauty. It’s what He does. He molds rough clay to make art. He recycles pain to make a place for His joy to land.

As expected, He did just that.

At 4:30 in the morning one day in September, my son came to get us from the waiting room to lead us into the birthing center where a new life had entered the world moments before. Warm and bright-eyed and rose-petal pink, the child was laid into my eager Grammie arms.

“Mom,” my humbled but glowing son said, as if a formal introduction were necessary, “this is Grace.”

I drew that darling baby to my heart, as I imagine the Lord drew me, and answered, “Yes it is. This is grace.”

Today’s Prayer: Father God, how is it that You can make something so incredibly beautiful out of the messes we give you? Yet You do. And we’re grateful. You don’t just forgive, You lavish the riches of Your grace on us.  Thank you for the exceptional and exceptionally well-loved child Grace, and for where-would-we-be-without-it divine grace.

Cynthia Ruchti writes and produces the drama/devotional radio broadcast, The Heartbeat of the Home. She is editor of the ministry's Backyard Friends magazine, the author of a novel and novella recognized with nominations for Reviewers' Choice, Retailers' Choice, and Readers' Choice awards, and speaks for women's groups and writers' events. Visit her website at