Live by Grace

Even On Your Best Day

The {massive} plane that took us from Dubai to Washington D.C.

We’ve just taken a trip across the world. With our children.  And, as anyone who travels abroad knows, traveling can bring out both the best and the worst within a human being. Navigating airports, time constraints and delays, long haul flights, new cities, new foods, and jet lag…the high of “I can’t believe we’ve successfully brought our children to three continents,” coupled with “I barely remember my name because it’s been so long since I slept” can make for a roller coaster that challenges even the most stellar faith-liver.

Before we took this trip, my husband and I ruminated together about how good this trip would be for our children. There were several specific areas that we were praying about for them individually, asking God to move in their lives. I think we were so consumed with the anticipation of how life changing the trip would be for them, that we didn’t focus quite as much on how God might use the trip in OUR lives.

Somewhere between only starting to pack just two days before the trip (due to us almost not even taking said trip,)  a 22-hour long and mostly sleepless layover in Dubai,  racing to catch the flight to Cape Town (which took nearly two unanticipated hours to get to our gate), 9 hours of jet lag induced nausea on the second flight, and my husband’s cellulitis returning for the third time two days into the trip, I realized just how little control I had over the trip, and how intricately God was working on my personal trust in Him moment by moment.

And this is the intriguing thing about grace. The longer I’m a faith-liver, the more I know and see my own weaknesses and lack of faith. The longer I dwell in grace as my Christ-given strength, the more challenging the need for grace becomes. The more I lean on Jesus, the more desperate I become for Him. The more I depend on Jesus, the more I see the areas where I’m still trying to be a control freak. The more I take my next breath only by His enabling, the more I realize I can’t move or breathe without His grace in the first place.

The fact is this: Even on my best day, I need His grace abundantly.

The contrast of our best days, as compared to our worst days, brings to light just how much we actually do (or don’t) depend on God. On our worst days, every breath is a prayer, right? On our best days, more breaths in between the prayers. Maybe a downscaled dependence. Maybe a lack of desperation for God’s power.


There’s a cliche that’s been floating around in Christian women’s circles for awhile now that says, “Grace fills in the gaps.”

This phrase bothers me greatly. I can’t even tell you how it makes me cringe to hear believers say things like that. It’s simply a lie, and it misleads believers to think that grace is there to just fill in the gaps that I can’t fill myself. Grace will catch me when I fall, it will be there to fall back on, it will make me look good when I discover, to my horror, a weakness in myself. Grace will be there for my worst days, but on the good days I’m all set.

Paul didn’t see it that way in 2 Corinthians 12:9 when he wrote, “And He said unto me, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” Paul had learned that the only true strength was that which came from God. His definition of a “best day” (filled with the things he took pleasure in- {gulp}) was slightly different than what we would initially imagine for ourselves, yes?

Indeed- grace is a wonderful enabler to do God’s will. But it’s also a gentle exfoliator along the process of sanctification, opening and revealing the places where we are not depending on God. It’s no wonder that, as we get older and grow in our faith, those openings become more apparent and the needs seem to increase and to feel more out of control.

Have you ever thought about the fact that we raise our children to be independent, but God raises His children to be continually more dependent? Find for me the most mature Christian on the planet, and he/she will admit that they’ve never been in more desperate need of grace than they are at that moment. They may not even be in the midst of a trial, but they will know they need His grace.

As God gently exposes the areas where we even unconsciously haven’t included Him, we become more aware that even on our best day, we need His grace abundantly.

Even in our homes while doing mundane and routine tasks, we need His grace desperately. We need His grace even when we don’t feel desperate for it, even when we don’t know our own need. We need His grace to wake up each morning. We need His grace to take the next breath even when all is going well.

We had an AMAZING and truly life changing trip to South Africa, and we can’t wait to get back and join the church planting efforts there. But during the trip, there were several areas in my heart on which God put His finger, and I knew unmistakably that He was pressing on a place that needed to trust Him, depend on Him completely. He’s pretty good at putting us in positions that cause us to KNOW that we have no other option but Himself, and He’s also perfect at intensifying the situations so that we wonder for a minute if there will actually be grace for that.

What’s more….He’s perfect at nudging us while we stand before  breathtaking scenery during a trip…or when we’re standing at the kitchen sink, mechanically washing the same 13 year old dishes for the 1,256th time or sweeping different dirt from the same floor. He’s adept at prodding the heart while we load the car for an exciting adventure….and while we unload the washer and dryer or pour food into the dog’s bowl. He’s timely with a reminder during the height of celebration and joy. He’s excellent in wisdom in the moments when we forget to ask.

All for a gentle whisper: “You need Me.”

It settles deep and it cannot be ignored. It changes everything, continually. It changes US, from the inside out. We further disable our ability to ” unsee” or “unknow” the depth of our need for Him.

But then….why would we want to ever go backwards into self sufficiency? Even on our best day, that will fail us if we really believe we are desperate for God’s grace. After all, it’s grace that gifts to us those best days.

So, on your best day, enjoy this:

“And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.” {2 Corinthians 9:8}

It will make a best day even better.

1 thought on “Even On Your Best Day

  1. […] Even On Your Best Day-“Indeed- grace is a wonderful enabler to do God’s will. But it’s also a gentle exfoliator along the process of sanctification, opening and revealing the places where we are not depending on God. It’s no wonder that, as we get older and grow in our faith, those openings become more apparent and the needs seem to increase and to feel more out of control.” […]

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