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More Than…

Goodness. It has been a minute since I’ve posted but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t tried writing a new Note from the Nest, it just means that, well to be honest, I’ve been struggling a little. You see, every time I would write something, I would think this: “Something is missing. This needs…more.” My problem with that was that I didn’t know what that “more” was. Have you ever been there? Have you ever thought or done something that you wished was more? Some things you know right away what that more is – take cooking for example, you make a dish and taste it and declare, “This needs more salt!” Other things are maybe a little more nuanced. Take cooking for example, you make a dish and taste it and declare, “This needs more nutmeg…or maybe vanilla?” And while you might not know exactly what the dish needs, you know it is missing something, that it requires more. So, the last few months I have been chasing after the elusive “more” and asking God to reveal to me something special… something more.

Most everyone knows that I am the queen of wrong lyrics. I hear a song, think I know the lyrics, belt it out, only to have Seth or the kids tell me that I am singing the wrong words to the song. I tell you this, I still believe that 9 times out of 10, my lyrics make more sense. At least at first. There’s this song by Chris Tomlin called “Nobody Loves Me Like You,” and the first line goes like this, “Morning, I see You in the sunrise every morning…” Well, for years I’ve been singing it like this, “More than, I see You in the sunrise every morning, it’s like a picture that You’ve painted for me, a love letter in the sky.” (To me the “more than” was saying that God is more than the sunrise and the sunrise is more than just the sun rising). And let me tell you, my favorite lyric was the “more than” part! Because as children of God we are more than. We are more than our greatest moments, more than our failures, more than our past, more than our regrets, more than our wins, more than our losses, more than the good, the bad, and everything in between. 

I was reading in Judges 8 the other day. Specifically focusing on Judges 8:13-28. Gideon leads the Israelites to victory over the kings of Midian. (Insert cheering crowd here!). And then guess what happened? Gideon encountered the Snare of Success. (Insert suspenseful music here: dun, dun, dun). This was me as I was reading it: Gideon, man, you rock! Ok, Gideon, enough with the questioning God thing – where’s that blind faith at? All right Gideon, you anxious soul you (twins!) now you know, the battle belongs to God! Here we go! And then I got to the part in verse 27, “And Gideon made an ephod…and it became a snare to Gideon and to his family.” Oh no! Gideon! Watch out! Also me, how come you let that “trophy” trip you up sir? Is what Zebah and Zalmunna said in verse 21 really true, “As the man is, so is his strength”? Why would you listen to those whose names mean “Immolation” and “Trouble”? Be careful whose words you heed. Here’s the truth written beautifully by F.B. Meyer, “The usefulness of our lives is not to be gauged by what we say or have or think, but by what we are. It is not gift but grace that leaves the deepest dint upon other lives. If you want to be strong in the arm, you must be pure and true at heart.” What does the Bible say about grace? Romans 5:20-21, “Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Are you ready for the lesson God taught me? Here it is: I didn’t really need more. I don’t need more “gift.” Recognize the difference between gift and grace Jers! I just need Him. He is all that we need. Jesus is more than enough. I pray I never hoard His grace but extend it as abundantly as He has extended it towards me. That when people look at me, they see a woman covered in the grace of Jesus who wants others to experience that same grace. As the years go by, as I face triumph and disappointment, my prayer is that my story boldly reads: “Story, I could’ve had a really different story, but You came down from heaven to restore me, forever saved my life.” (Nobody loves me like You love me Jesus).

Read: Judges 8 & 1 Corinthians 15:1-10.

Consider: I have had the wonderful privilege of growing up in a Christian home with real people who are definitely not perfect but strive to live honest, hard-working lives. We, as a family unit, have experienced incredible highs and deep-deep lows, but we have always had each other and our Heavenly Father has never forsaken us. There have been many times in my life where I have needed an extra measure of grace. What I love about our Savior is that He never runs out of grace to give! 

“I can do it on my own.” That has been a phrase that I’ve used in my life on more than one occasion. What I have learned about doing things on my own is that it is a lonely road to travel, it makes tasks longer and more difficult, and there are some things, no matter how much I think I can, that I simply cannot do on my own. God never meant for us to “do life” on our own. I have learned that God has never left me and is always willing to help me in my time of need. Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” 

God’s grace makes us worthy of being called His children. His grace makes us worthy of being His favored part of creation. Accepting His grace makes it much easier to extend grace to others. Grace calls us to action. Grace calls us to be the hands and feet of our Savior. Grace calls us to be who God created us to be. In 1 Corinthians 15:10 we read, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me” Grace reminds us of who and Whose we are. Ephesians 2:10 explains, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” 

To-Do: Have you ever been trapped by the Snare of Success? What precautions can you put in place to avoid that sneaky trap in the future? 


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