Have you ever noticed how many ANDS God has put into life?
There are so many ANDS we hardly take notice. Yet seeing them again, we take heart and find God gifts to be more than enough to go through anything “with grace.
There is both…
darkness AND light,
winter AND spring,
weariness AND rest,
parents AND children,
planting AND reaping,
frowns AND smiles,
dropping leaves AND blooming flowers,
valleys AND mountains,
desserts AND oceans,
farms AND towns,
going AND coming,
sin AND mercy,
duty AND reward,
calling AND direction,
need AND sufficiency,
ebb AND flow,
Jesus AND me.
Recently I had the opportunity to share a moment with some children. I asked a 7 year-old girl what is one plus one. She said, “Two!” After congratulating her, I then asked a 10 year-old boy what is one AND one. He said, “Eleven.” I was surprised at his answer, figuring that he would say “two.” But he answered correctly, and notice the exciting difference the little word “and” gives us. A “plus” leads to simple addition, but an “and” can provide many more possibilities.
God’s grace comes pouring into our lives in the multiplication His “ands” create. In other words, His grace is a source of limitless possible outcomes to every situation because as Jesus said, “WITH God all things are possible!”
God’s word calls us to give cheerfully something good to every day, AND assures us that God’s super-abundant grace makes that possible! The Apostle Paul wrote, “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9:7-8 (ESV)
We notice that we suffer weakness from “thorns,” but do we also notice that God comes with us, taking our weakness and in it displaying His power to bring good out of bad and life out of death? The greatest AND of all is “Jesus and me.” “Concerning this [thorn in the flesh] I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.” 2 Corinthians 12:8b-9 (NASB)
God’s ANDS are multiplications that lead us to see the huge difference He alone can make in our lives.
Today there may be trouble, hardship, persecution, serious lack of resources, and mortal danger, but for the Christian those things are NEVER singular and the end of the matter. There is always an “AND” of grace enabling us to overcome the fear with faith, the hopelessness with anticipation, and the evil with love. “But [And] in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us!” Romans 8:35-37 (NASB)
God’s grace multiplies the possibilities found in forgiveness, prayers for healing and loving redemption, and the simple act of getting up in the morning with smiles on our faces.
Thanks be to God!
“They were even more astonished and said to Him, ‘Then who can be saved?’ Looking at them, Jesus said, ‘With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.’” Mark 10:26-27 (NASB)
“And He went a little beyond them, and fell to the ground and began to pray that if it were possible, the hour might pass Him by. And He was saying, ‘Abba! Father! All things are possible for You; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will.’” Mark 14:35-36 (NASB)
“And Jesus said to him, ‘“If You can?” All things are possible to him who believes.’ Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, ‘I do believe; help my unbelief.’” Mark 9:23-24 (NASB)
For added inspiration in your gratitude for the ANDS of life, check out this song by Dennis Jernigan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cc4BaIlVC-k.