What, but Thy grace?

Sometimes all it takes is a good hymn to make all the sharp edges soften, and maybe it's a strong case for the Holy Spirit still active: what moved souls a century ago still moves them today.

Oh, heart, what but His grace?

What, but His grace when dust piles high in the corners and caulk guns sit on kitchen tables and moving boxes sit in the master bedroom and one thousand and one small projects are left to do around the house and new parents lose their tempers with each other.

What, but His grace when a family member shows you pictures of their mission trip and large brown eyes stare back and burn change into your heart. I pick up my son and thank God for His ten precious fingers and ten beautiful toes, and I look at another pair of those large brown eyes and feel empty at the thought of no one holding them in the same way.

What, but His grace when we live in a culture where one sound bite sends a nation into turmoil. Battles fought over the internet leave motives and character ripped to shreds and only serve to deepen wounds in sore need of healing.

This week is our church's annual retreat for the staff and volunteer leaders. It is usually my favorite part of the ministry we work for, six days of strategy and vision-casting and six nights of worship and sitting in the Holy Spirit's presence. This year, though, I am tired.

So, what, but His grace when we are too tired to even sit and listen?

I need thy presence every passing hour;
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter's pow'r?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be? 
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

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