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Deep Breath…Pray…Pray Again

by Cheryl Short

I recently moved into a new home.  It’s not just new to me, it’s really new.  No one has lived here before me.  It is such an incredible blessing!  

On the first night, I slept on the couch in the living room and watched the moon out the window.  Such a great perspective to realize the vastness of God’s universe!

On the second day, a friend of ours stopped by with cookies and prayers, filling our house with good things.

On the third day, my sons came to help me rearrange furniture and unpack boxes.  What a great opportunity to remember the blessing of family and the importance of serving each other.

On the fourth day, the refrigerator was delivered.   Thank God for technology and progress and ice cubes.

On the fifth day, the sewer backed up and flooded the finished basement.  (Someone poured extra grout down the drain.)  Apparently, five days is how long it takes for enough water to go down the drain and convert the grout from dust to stone. Who knew? 

deep breath….pray….pray again.

I called for help and tried desperately to remember to extend God’s grace.

It surprised me to discover that extending God’s grace in the extreme circumstances that followed wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be.  I prayed every day, sometimes multiple times a day. Dealing with the superintendent, the plumber, the head of construction, the remediation team, the people who came to dig up the concrete floor in my basement (twice), was all easier than expected.  There was a calm that came with the prayers.  In addition, there was kindness, consideration, and compassion from the people who were working on my house.  

It turned out to be a lovely, God reflected result of extending grace.

What should have been a really terrible time, turned out to be a blessing.  I was inspired.  I wanted to keep extending grace and see what would happen.  I was going to change the world, (well at least my little corner of it.) I had the formula:

“prayer + grace = positive change”.  

Unfortunately, it wasn’t that easy.  Without the big problem to focus on, all the little distractions of the day-to-day got in the way.  I was able to extend grace when my entire basement was dug up, but I seem to have a hard time not losing my cool at the person who cut in front of me in traffic. 

I have a feeling this is a lifetime commitment of daily surrender.

So I start over.
deep breath…pray…and pray again.