When Human Understanding Fails: Stewarding God’s Grace

I’m complaining about lack of snow and a messy house; she’s noticing the intriguing nuances of the gray sky.

I’m wrestling over what to fix for supper; she’s wrestling with having the strength to be present for her littles. 

I’m praying for no flu or cold to strike; she’s praying for pain management so she can live well through that final breath coming all to soon.

I’m worrying about tomorrow; she’s preparing her loves for when her tomorrow-on-earth doesn’t come. 

I’m dealing with petty letdowns and difficult relationships; she’s dealing with how to make her final days meaningful.

And I’m praying for her strength, for her grace. Because in her dying, she’s living the life I desire.

When Human Understanding Fails, God's Grace Prevails

I want to live a life of big love and deep abiding grace; in her dying, she’s living it.

When Human Understanding Fails

The her I’m speaking of is a young mother of four who is living a life of grace in her dying, her body overrun with cancer. Kara Tippetts (blogging at Mundane Faithfulness) is a woman of amazing faith.

I’ve never met Kara, but she is having a great impact on me and countless others, just as did another young lady several years back (read about Sara on her blog here, and my post here, You Are Here to Make a Difference)

In doesn’t make sense, her dying. Yet although placed under hospice care today, Kara continually seeks and finds grace for each day, for each breath, for each hard moment. Every day I look to Kara’s blog, her Facebook page, her Instagram feed, searching for evidence through Kara’s eyes of God’s grace in action.

Because too often I’m blind to the grace in my lap; Kara’s trained herself to notice. Daily I miss the God who meets me in my mess; Kara spent years sharpening her eyesight to see Him.

And I’m afraid I’ll keep missing it, missing God, missing His hand in my circumstances. 

You see, I want to suffer well in my daily mini-struggles and in epic battles that may meet me in my living. I want to sense God’s sufficiency in each moment. I want to proclaim His sovereignty, His goodness, through my actions and attitudes. 

But there are times when I’m not doing the greatest job of it. 

So I ask God for His eyes, and He provides inspiration in Kara. Kara, like several others whose lives I’ve followed (see I Want To Suffer Well: Inspiring Stories of Being Met and Kept), is showing me how to live in grace.

Maybe I’m expecting too much from this sweet lady. Maybe I’m putting a burden on her she was never meant to carry. 

But then again, maybe it’s a call God’s places on each of us in different seasons. Maybe He’s asking each of us to steward His grace for the next person. 

Stewarding God’s Grace

A few years ago, it was Sara’s call to demonstrate a life of faith and grace in action, to live out grace for “such a time as this.” This year … today … is Kara’s. My turn, yours, may be tomorrow or perhaps next year, or maybe it is in this moment. 

As He did with Queen Esther, God’s preparing each of us for “such a time as this.” His grace is sufficient; Kara not only knows it, she feels the truth of it. 

As He did with Queen Esther, God's preparing each of us for such a time as this. His grace is sufficient. Click To Tweet

Kara’s pain is coming to an end. Her tears will be wiped dry, never to come again.

Someday my struggles will end too. But until then, God has placed and continues to place people in my life to disciple me in living out His grace, in standing in His strength, in leaning on His promises. 

And perhaps in God’s grace, I’m that person in someone else’s life. 

Because He is sufficient, I can guide in my weakness.

Because He is enough, I can encourage in my lack.

Because He is sovereign and good and filled with love and light, I can be certain I will one day travel through earth’s darkness into the light of eternity. 

Because of the faithful who walked before me and alongside me, I better know how to be the faithful. 

I mourn Kara’s impending departure from this life for her loved ones, but I am grateful for the journey of grace and love she has traced for me and others to follow, and I rejoice in the riches she will soon inherit. 

May I, too, become a marker for tracing His fingerprints of grace and love. That is my prayer for you as well. 

For when human understanding fails, God’s grace prevails. 

When human understanding fails, God's grace prevails. Click To Tweet

“…that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine. Romans 1:12

Reflections: Who have been the faithful tracing God’s grace for you? Have you ever thought of yourself as that disciple of faith? 

Kara wrote a book about her journey of grace. I would definitely recommend it for all who desire to walk this life resting in the grace of God. Click on the link to purchase. 

The Hardest Peace: Expecting Grace in the Midst of Life's Hard - By: Kara Tippetts<br /><br /><br /><br /> The Hardest Peace: Expecting Grace in the Midst of Life’s Hard By Kara Tippetts

Since beginning over 3 years ago, I’ve counted more than 3,000 gifts in Ann Voskamp’s Joy Dare! What a blessing! So here we go: #3471–3491, read my entire list by clicking here.

  • Smiles on kids’ faces as they enjoy early gift-giving; Laughter of my children enjoying each other’s company; New games to play, like Bananagrams and Bang 
  • Waking to a peaceful blanket of fog; Sickness that found Dave and Dan, although inconvenient, appears to be short-lived and confined to them; Snuggles in Rach’s bed as we read
  • Wood stacked full in the basement; Day of rest to get all healthy; Sweetness of Christmas Eve worship in our own church
  • Celebrating the birth of our Savior; All healthy for extended family gatherings; Sharing, reconnecting, and praising the Lord with family
  • Holding and playing with 2 of the sweetest little boys; Deep peace of walking through a small town at winter dusk; Rach’s excitement at “nailing people” while playing her Minnie Mouse pop-up game
  • Having my late father-in-law’s first Bible for a bit–with his reflections written in the margins, it’s a treasure; When given a choice of any book for bedtime reading, Rachel requested her Bible; Quiet hour for me to read
  • Wonderful day of hanging as a family: worship, eating out, and watching Hobbit 3; Trying to keep up with the long strides of my oldest on a walk = togetherness; Late night chat with Zach – past my bedtime but worth it

By His grace ≈


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Find hope in your real-life struggles. We'll chase it together! I am a wife; mom of 4 (including a young adult daughter with special needs); miscarriage mom of 5; author & follower of Jesus Christ. I write, edit, speak and enjoy everything outdoors.

2 comments on “When Human Understanding Fails: Stewarding God’s Grace
  1. Cecelia Lester (Quiet Spirit) says:

    Our pastor reminded us Sunday that we have had people pass on who we didn’t expect to go. One of the names he mentioned was a man who had been in church one Sunday and left us that afternoon. The lesson a lot of us have learned is that we should always (try to) be ready for that when it is our time. I have some very dear friends who, although they don’t realize it, show me God’s grace everytime we talk or are together.

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