Kara’s Collection: Craving Grace Like Chocolate

From an article originally posted February 7, 2014…

Author and speaker Ruthie Delk came to Village 7 last Monday evening to speak to the women. Her words were a much needed reminder of grace. Ruthie is kind, transparent, and very honest about living in hard-living in the tension of today. Her book Craving Grace is a study on the understanding of the simplicity and complexity of grace. If understanding grace is something you struggle with, I would highly recommend her book for study. Goodness—I would recommend this book even if you don’t struggle understanding. Ruthie has been given a gift in her understanding of grace.

Monday night she made two illustrations that undid me. She shared of two women—one in the midst of great suffering, and the other in the midst of great blessing. Both women face the same struggle. Trust. One fails to trust in the deep sorrow and loss of her husband and learning to walk in faith and grace in her love’s absence. While the other is opening doors for growth, abundance, and sharing. This woman is struggling with receiving the blessings of God, and at the very heart of that struggle is also trust.

Ruthie admitted she was the second woman. God is blessing her words, using her message to teach women of the grace and mercy of God, and she was struggling to accept the gift. She went on to tell a story. Ruthie, forgive me if I butcher it. She said this season of life feels like she is sitting on a rock in the middle of rapids. She is frightened by the rushing river. Jesus comes on a raft and beckons Ruthie to jump on and join him on an adventure. She is afraid to go. But her deepest fear is that her river is damned, and when she reaches the damn, the water will recede and she will be left desolate.

In her first picture of the two women, I felt like both women. I’m struggling with my diagnosis, struggling with my weakness and story—ultimately the struggle to trust the sovereignty of God. I’m also struggling with the blessing and joy that is coming to us. We have been so lavishly loved and cared for, and exciting opportunities are coming to me getting to write my story, share my story, live in grace in this place. I felt like I am both women she mentioned, and I also feel like at the heart of the struggle is trust. I think the heart of the trust is He enough? In plenty and in suffering, is Jesus enough?

When she shared about the rushing river, I was undone. The speed of our life since my second diagnosis has certainly felt like living life in the rapids. The image made sense to my heart. But the bottom of my river is not a fear of this abundance drying up, it is not a fear that the words will stop or the grace will come to an end. The end of my river is the end of my story. And as I was doing an interview yesterday, I realize where my faith is weak here. I have little imagination for heaven. You see, it’s not the fear of death at the end of my river; I’m not afraid of dying. My fear is the end of my story, specifically the end of my story in the lives of those I love so dearly.

What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him.
— 1 Corinthians 2:9

Do you see? We simply cannot imagine it. We cannot take in eternity. Where are you struggling with trust this day? Where are you struggling to take hold of your story in suffering or abundance and trust Jesus? Ultimately, where do you struggle to believe that Jesus is enough?

Ruthie, thank you. Thank you for sharing the story you have been given. Thank you for loving Jesus and letting Him use you. Your words were such an encouragement to my heart—as is your book. Thankful for you this day!