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Experiencing Grace…Like a River

Posted in Encouragement, and Faith

Deep River, in northwest Indiana, may not be the deepest river in the world. But with its educational programs steeped in state history, it was a favorite for my fifth-grade class.

By the end of the school year, warm breezes signaled it was time for our vacation. The Deep River trip was a preview. Fishing and nature walks filled our day. As an added adventure, we dissected earthworms before our departure.

To keep my scientific investigation from becoming an emotional upheaval, I joined the group with the fewest specimens. My strategy worked until one of my classmates exposed me. He told the teacher I wasn’t “exploring” as I sat quietly a microscope away.

I was mad. But he was right. My plan had everything to do with comfort and nothing to do with exploration — which was the whole point of the trip.

Fast forward a few decades.

I consider myself to be a faith walking, truth seeker. And yet, the truth is sometimes I forget grace is like a river.

God’s grace is teeming with experiences hand-picked by Him to teach us about His love and the wonders of His plan. However, when circumstances become tough or my view of Him grows dim, the lessons are unclear.

But He poured His grace over me, and I was flooded in an abundance of the grace and faith and love that can only be found in Jesus the Anointed. – 1 Timothy 1:14 Voice

God’s pouring of grace came into my life the moment I met Jesus.  But the power is not realized when problems puncture healthy perspectives. Grace leaks. Life becomes messy and I grow weary, worried and afraid.

I long to soak in faith. It enables me to go beyond where life seems manageable or makes sense. It awakens the grace explorer in me so, unlike my laboratory drama, I can see Jesus up close.

I find His forgiveness, power and love.

Many years ago, drops of grace drew me. The mist of making God’s acquaintance was refreshing to my soul.

But it takes a deeper dive to keep me.

Because grace, like a river, flows into my life so I can sense God’s goodness.  And when I’m unwilling to do life without Him, I step out from my shallow existence to yield to His call.

He calls me to hold nothing back.

Not my past.
Not my pain.
Not my preconceived notions.

Because grace does away with the notion that life is about what we earn, who we impress or how long we can hang out in our comfort zone.

It’s about how much God has given through Christ on the Cross. (see Ephesians 1:6-8)  Through Him, unexpected benefits and unimaginable delights become possible for the undeserving.

However, grace was never intended to leak from our lives. It’s meant to overflow.

Then it ebbs and flows over the banks of our existence transforming what’s weak and ruined.  It welcomes us to rest in its renewal and relish in knowing the Giver. He heals our punctured perspectives.

Whether we’re experiencing grace like a river or hoping to avoid exploration, Jesus invites us all to come closer.

When the wonder of grace is received, it prompts me to share it with someone else. I wish I could talk to my classmate. I’d thank him for his honesty. I’d tell him in order to live grace deep I must become God-focused. And now I’m sure Deep River is not the deepest river in the world. I know grace is.

For the next few weeks, I’m basking in God’s grace. I’ll take a break to spend time with family, friends (and maybe work on a project or two). I’m praying you’ll also bask in God’s grace and join me here August 23 for more “hope for the heart and joy to the soul.”

Congratulations to Sue Donaldson!  She is the winner of the book from last week’s giveaway, When Sorry Is Not Enough.


  1. Joy, I love the thought of grace being like a river. Thanks for your refreshing post. I hope you enjoy your break!

    July 19, 2017
    • Joy

      Thanks Kelly!

      July 20, 2017
  2. Thank you for posting this…I really like this line…”grace does away with the notion that life is about what we earn…” and “…grace was never intended to leak from our lives. It’s meant to overflow.” These two together really did something for me. To often as Christians, we forget that the things we have are not based solely on our human efforts, instead they are given to us by God as an undeserved gift. It’s our faith in God that makes the undeserved possible and God wants those undeserved gifts to overflow in our lives because then we and others can see just how loving and kind He is. 🙂

    August 9, 2017
    • Joy

      Hi Chrisi! I’m glad you’re encouraged by this post. I love your statement: “It’s our faith in God that makes the undeserved possible.” May we continue to grow confident in Him. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

      August 10, 2017

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