The Waters of Grace


A bottomless bucket has proved the perfect visual for the condition of my ability to retain God’s lessons. My former view was one of collection: If I store up instruction, like water in a bucket, I will become full and useful, resilient and wise enough to be less susceptible in drought. Though certainly true in one sense, God’s view is more complex and thorough, as I’ve recently rediscovered.

Last month I suffered a series of unexpected losses. One of them was suffering with my child whose life was suddenly altered by a decision someone else made over which she had no control. We mothers feel the pain of our children’s wounds as intensely as if they were our own. And it doesn’t lessen when they become adults.

Another loss was job-related. What felt secure and sure was, in that same week, turned upside down. How easily do I trust in the plans and expectations of my routine to bring me security!

The surprise of these troubles drained my assumption that collecting lessons learned would insulate me or lessen the pain of future difficulties. Like my daughter who once donned five or six layers of pants when she knew she was getting a spanking in hopes it would dull the pain, so I too nurture false hope that with enough accumulated wisdom, inevitable trials can be largely mitigated.

But God. Yes, His plan is always to keep us at the well, to keep us drawing from His inexhaustible, living stores, for “A broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise” (Ps. 51:17). Inexplicably, a broken heart soaks up the healing water of grace.

May it be so in my life and in yours.

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