So we’re here – in a new town, a new apartment – and that in itself is pretty miraculous. A moving truck with faulty transmission dragging a trailer with a broken hitch is not exactly a recipe for a successful moving venture. But we made it and not a moving box is left to show for it (we work fast, us Hockenberrys).
The day after we arrived, as I was driving through the wide-open ruggedly beautiful wilderness of Wyoming, I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed by the knowledge of my own unworthiness. Here I was resisting God’s plan to bring me out west, wallowing in my own selfishness, and yet He saw fit to place me in a lovely small town in a vast and majestic land. Of all the places I could end up in this world, this is a pretty amazing place to be, and yet I have resisted it and complained every step of the way. I know what sin I am capable of, and God has overcome those weaknesses throughout this whole move and transition. In spite of myself, He has given me the grace to not only go through this cross-country moving process in good spirits, but to enjoy so many things about where I live. Dare I say I’m going to enjoy hiking here even more than I did in North Carolina?
When I think of my own shortcomings, anxieties, failures, I am reminded of how faithful God remains and how He provides for me even in my unworthiness. All I contribute to the Salvation story is my own sin, He does the rest. I’m really good at being selfish (I’m kind of an expert really), but God is gracious to me and not only withholds the chastisement I deserve, but lavishes me with unexpected blessings. It makes the small trials of my life (when the stupid road construction gets in my way, when the lack of air-conditioning melts me, and when I can’t find a new print shop to print my paintings) diminish.
So, what then? As Paul says, “do we go on sinning that grace might increase?” Do we just take the liberty to embrace our selfishness and rely on God’s promises to give us what we want? In fact the opposite is true. The more we see God’s grace and goodness in our lives – in spite of ourselves – the less we dwell on our own trials and tribulations, the less important the things we think we need really are. Looking at God reminds us how amazing He is and how gracious He is to lavish us with any life at all, much less the many blessings he gives us. The more we realize the debt we owe Him, the more we can give him the praise and glory, and the less we seek for ourselves.
I know there will be future struggles, after all I am on summer break now so everything is flowers and sunshine, but I know that his grace toward me far outweighs my unworthiness no matter what my cirsumstances. I am unfaithful, but God is faithful to give me not what I want, but more than I ever knew I needed.
I’ve been keeping my eyes open for little glimpses of beauty that are a little more mysterious here. Their scarcity makes that all that much more special when I do spot them. I’ve added a set of cards with western wildflowers to my Birds and Berry Studio on Etsy.