A Salvaged Feast – Grace in the Mess

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Last night’s moment of grace was cleverly disguised. It began in the morning. My gut instinct said, “Don’t put alfredo sauce in the crock pot.” But I did it anyway. Even before I left for work, I could see that it was a mistake.

Sure enough, when I got home, I lifted the lid of the slow cooker with trepidation. The contents were more pathetic than I imagined. The alfredo sauce looked like water. The broccoli was mushy and overcooked. There were burn marks around the edges of the pot. It was disgusting. Horribly nasty. Really stinky. Completely inedible.

It was the perfect opportunity to go out for dinner.

So we bundled up the kids and drove to a restaurant. We haven’t done that in forever. What a fabulous outing! The kids were well-behaved, the food was great and we even had enough time to grab a latte before our evening class at church. It was a splurge … but it felt so ridiculously good!

Why on the earth am I blogging about last night’s dinner? Because sometimes life gets messy. Sometimes things don’t work out the way we plan them. Sometimes we make mistakes and ruin more than just dinner.

But we don’t have to wallow in those moments.

Right?

Just like my ruined dinner became a wonderful family time, our ruined plans can pave the way for better things. Mistakes can change our direction in life. An ugly mess can become a thing of beauty.

It’s all in how we respond.

Recognizing “moments of grace” in our lives has everything to do with our attitude.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds…” (James 1:2, NIV)

Why joy? Because “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28, NIV)

Jesus came to give us an abundant, full life (John 10:10). So no matter how big or small the circumstance, we need to remember to look to Him, the giver of all good gifts.

Although my ruined dinner hardly qualifies as a trial, it challenged me. Next time I face a something difficult or mess things up, will I wallow in discouragement? Or will I turn to Jesus, embrace joy and find grace in the mess?

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