February 25, 2021

Continuing to Let Grace Lead the Way

by David Alexander

Thoughts from David Alexander

Have I mentioned recently that our one-word focus for the year is grace?

After last week’s winter storm, I thought a reminder would be appropriate.

For all of us, it was a long and hard week. Some felt a great sense of relief now that last week is in the rearview mirror.

For many others in our community and around our state, the work of recovery has just begun.

We had a pipe burst in our preschool and nursery space as well as the choir and orchestra area. I filmed a short video that shows the area affected as well as the rapid progress being made to restore these important spaces which you can see by visiting this link.

For our church, it’s a setback that will interrupt our Sunday morning indoor children’s ministry programming for a few more weeks. For many others, the impact was far more substantial. As a church we will be working diligently to respond to these pressing needs.

If you are in the place today, we want to invite you to let us know by simply sending us an email to help@fmcm.org.

It would be so easy for us to fall back into discouragement. The 49 weeks preceding last week’s record low temperatures have left us all desperate for progress. We are grateful that there are many positive signs of that. At the same time it is understandable that you may feel that “two steps forward and one step back” still seems like a net loss.

Which is why I think a reminder is in order for today. We continue to look to grace to lead our way.

Grace with ourselves

Grace with one another

Grace with the world

Letting grace lead means letting go of our disappointment with our own imperfections, the imperfections of others as well as a world that is not as we would have it to be.

Grace is the willingness to sit in the ‘in-between’ with one another acknowledging that while we might be frustrated by our questions that don’t seem to have answers we are persisting together in our confidence that God is still working in our longing for better days.

Let me add one additional thought that is an ongoing source of encouragement for me personally.

One of my core convictions is that all leadership begins with self-leadership. I know of no other way to lead others outside of my own striving to faithfully follow.

Doing that is impossible if I’m unwilling to be transparent in my own struggle, to acknowledge that sometimes my best answer is also “I don’t know” and that, like everyone else, all I can do is give God my very best.

At the same, I still fear letting others down. Like you, I also worry about disappointing God.

Yet, in this tension, this is the constant response I hear God speaking into my life.

David, if mistakes are inevitable, if setbacks are simply a part of life, if the grace I offer is meant to allow you to have grace with yourself, with others, and the world around you…

Then surely you must know that I honor intent over outcome.

So trust me for the fruit. You focus on being faithful.

Surrender to me that desire for a particular outcome. Work instead on guarding your heart.

Let go of your definition of success. Your concern should be to “commit your way to me.”

And sometimes God says it even more simply.

Have I mentioned recently that this life you and I share is all about grace?

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