Grace and Forgiveness Rain Down

The rainbow promises hope
     The cloudy skies promised to rain fear and hopelessness on my joyful moment.  In the kitchen while I breaded the chicken breasts, the thoughts assailed my mind like searing arrows.
     "Prepare for the pain," they kept saying. "He won't be coming back."
     I carefully placed a piece of chicken in the hot oil of the frying pan.
     "Suffering with Christ is part of my walk as a Christian," I told myself trying to brace for the pain to come.
     Gently I turned the meat while waiting for the boiling water to signal time to add the pasta. I inhaled deeply and let the air out slowly. "Don't anticipate the moment," I calmed myself. "You only have grace for right now. Relax."
     Praise songs began rushing into the strongholds clamped on my mind and heart. The darkness started to lift.
     I poured the warmed spaghetti sauce over the chicken and let it cook through for a few more minutes while the vegetables began to boil. Dinner was just about ready when I texted our son and said, "Hurry up. We're about to eat."
     Within minutes he was at the door. My arms reached up to wrap warmly around his neck. I could feel the stiff uncertainty in his greeting. The light from the kitchen beckoned and the aroma welcomed.  With ease we all sat down around the dinner table.
     The conversation was upbeat. Sports. Work. School. Whatever had occupied us this past week and a half. Words carefully chosen. Eyes held the treasure that just a week ago I had looked upon with disdain.
     Absence does make the heart grow fonder. It also calms the angry tide. And with grace from God, prayer from others, and sound counsel, it makes the mind grow wiser.
     Dishes cleared from the table, we sought out comfortable seats in the family room to "talk." 
     Last time we looked at each other, angry words had flown. This time, words floated on the wings of healing. Concern for the other surpassed our own self-centered needs.  The blame that had heated up the room nearly two weeks ago was replaced with repentance and a gentle spirit, all around.
     We talked for hours, enjoying each other's company.  Seeing life through each other's eyes. Reaching out to bridge the gap. And when the evening ended, the moment had held more love and hope than I had ever anticipated. It seemed that the Lord had spoken wisdom to all of us through His Spirit and fellow Christians during that time apart.
     The Lord is so gracious. He heals the brokenhearted. He forgives our sins and His grace makes all things new. He supports us with His Spirit and the prayers of our Christian brothers and sisters. It is good and right to place our hope and trust in Him.
     As I walk out the other end of this trial, there is much to be learned and much to hold onto. I've heard the words before, and once again I have the opportunity to live them.
     "A gentle word turns away wrath." Proverbs15:1
     "A quick-tempered man does foolish things." Proverbs 14:17
     "Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue." Proverbs 17:18
     But the best one came from my dear friend through an email.

     "Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." Ephesians 3:20&21 NIV

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