Future Grace

Lately Samantha and I have had several challenges to deal with. Most of them stressful and most of them fear-induced.

One of the most difficult struggles has been the idea of what will happen when this particular event happens, or when this milestone happens. For those struggling with infidelity the idea of being five months down the road, or five years down the road can seem impossible. Many of you are simply trying to get through today and there is not only a spiritual precedent for such thinking but there is a recovery principle of simply living ‘one day at a time.’ I get it, believe me I do.

When we are considering what we’ll have to face and what we’ll have to endure down the road (which we can’t even see sometimes), I’ve come to a great understanding of the concept of ‘future grace.’ Without getting too technical, one can define grace as:

God’s empowering ability to do what you’ve been called to do and be who you’ve been called to become.

When I think back upon what seems like thousands of moments of pain when my infidelity became public, the thought of ever finding hope again seemed impossible. There is one night, a few days after disclosure, I remember vividly. Samantha had left and taken the kids to get some air and clarity. I went for a drive and found myself driving for hours. I ended up going through a sobriety check point in Laguna Beach, California. When it was my time the officer asked me what I was doing out at 1am. I said I was out for a drive to clear my head. He asked several questions and was doubtful I was telling the truth. I then reached for my Bible and held it up to him and said, “Here’s my Bible. See, I am a pastor, really. I’m just really depressed.” The look on his face was astonishment. “I thought you were a pastor, why are YOU depressed?” I just looked at him and said, “Well, I’m not a pastor anymore. Life has changed,” as my voice cracked a bit. I was sure I was going to be field tested in a heartbeat due to the holes in my story. Out of mercy, he let me go and I was on my way, even more hopeless than the 15 minutes before when the conversation started.

Later that night, I walked on the beach and cried and left Samantha a voice mail in tears telling her that I loved her and only her and wanted to spend the rest of my life with her and the kids and no one else.  I think I fell asleep on the beach for a few hours. Looking back, I wonder how I ever made it through countless days and nights like that.

But it was grace.

There was a grace then to help me and there will be a grace to help me when I encounter all the things that I’m having to face in what many call mid-life. This grace we need is there for us. It is inexhaustible and it takes the pressure off of the question of “How will we handle this, that or the other?” “How will we get through this?” or “How will we handle it when we hit this milestone?”

There will be future grace available for you my friend.  It will be there. Take heart, future grace is available for you and for me.

2 Corinthians 9:8

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed.

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