When I was in high school, the wife of one of my teachers was diagnosed with a brain tumor. After an intense surgery, tumor was determined to be benign and as far as I know, she suffered little ramifications from the tragic affair. After receiving the good news, many people responded to her husband with these words, “God is faithful.” His response has stuck with me all these years later. He said, “God is always faithful. In this situation, He was especially gracious.”
It’s been an important lesson for me over the years. We are tempted to say “God is good” when we get good news, and yet forget that He is still good when it’s bad news we receive. His goodness, and His faithfulness are not determined by our circumstances. They are the essence of Who He is.
However, there are times in our lives where He pours out specific grace in difficult circumstances. We see this is in the Bible too. Yet too often we are focused on the escape from bad things that we fail to appreciate the many gracious gifts that our Savior has given.
Take Lot’s story as an example (Gen 19:1-22). When we tell this story, we tend to concentrate on two facts – that Lot escaped and that his wife turned into a pillar of salt. However, when we look at only those two things, we fail to miss the many graces that are seen. First, Lot is given safe passage even though the city has so few righteous people in it that Abraham couldn’t safely barter for its rescue (Gen. 18:22-33). In other words, even though Lot choose to set himself in the midst of hedonist and ungodly people (Gen. 13), God graciously rescued him. Beyond that, Lot made a specific request that he not have to escape to the hills (Gen 19:17-20). It’s rather audacious if you think about it, bartering for where safety would be given even though rescue had just been offered. Yet, God graciously provides his preferred place of escape as well (Gen. 19:21), giving him grace upon grace.
There are no doubts moments like this in our own lives – moments where God is beyond generous and gives us grace upon previously given graces. The question is – are we paying attention enough to notice and do we respond with the gratitude that such generosity so obviously deserves?