Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” -Matthew 18:21-22

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. -Colossians 3:12

Sometimes, life seems to bring an unending, relentless rain of fire that threatens to wear and pound you to your knees into the dust. It just…won’t…stop.

The key word there is knees. It’s when you’re on your knees that you are letting God channel His power through you, because you were clearly shouldering everything on your own.

So, get on your knees and pray. Whisper, groan, cry out, shout out to the Lord. He hears the cries of His children. Give Him your burdens and take up His yoke, for it is easy and His burden light. You were not meant to take it all on yourself, even though you may feel like you’re in it alone. It’s when you feel alone that you’ve taken your eyes off Him.

And while you’re on your knees, thank and praise Him for the opportunities He’s presented you to extend grace under fire, that these are your chances to make Him known. This journey, fellow agent and pilgrim, is our time on this earth to do our part in the Great Commission.

Then, rise with a peace and lightness in your soul, for He has relieved you of your pains and burdens. You now remember you have a protective force field of grace that stops the fire from reaching your heart. Your identity in Christ, and His Word, is your shield.

See past the bluster and fire, and hear and understand and decode beyond the pointed, slicing words, to learn and feel compassion for the true nature of where the pain and fire originate. Then, extend grace. Each explosive flung at you is an opportunity to defuse and deconstruct, and a chance to lift up the other party in empathy. And sometimes, just being present to hear them out is better than not at all, so that the other party may see you chose to weather the storm with them, rather than leave them alone.

Grace opportunities in crisis. Blessings in disguise.

Today’s soundtrack

Chris Tomlin’s “I Will Rise” reminds us that victory is won, and that our ultimate destination will be free of this world’s trials and tribulations.