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Thoughts on life by Teri McCarthy

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The Glory and the Grind

Posted by admin in August 3rd, 2019
Published in faith, Uncategorized

There’s an old adage, “War is long periods of boredom punctuated by moments of sheer terror.” I think about this saying whenever I’m reading or studying the life of Abraham. Abraham, an ordinary guy going about his ordinary life doing ordinary things when all of the sudden BOOM! God interrupts and Abraham’s course, his life, even his name is changed. We read about Abraham from his call in Genesis 11, at age 75, until his death at age 175, in Genesis 25. In those 100 years of walking with God, the Bible states that God spoke to Abraham only seven times—-seven times in 100 years. Abraham’s life can be described much like the old adage on war: long periods of grind punctuated by shocking moments of glory.

This year I turned 60 and 60 is a call for reflection. I have walked with God since my 21st birthday in 1980. That was the year I was filled with the Spirit and set on fire for God. That was the year I dedicated my life to missions and made a covenant with God to follow Him with all of my heart, soul, mind, and strength. It’s been nearly 40 years of passionately following God, listening intently to His voice, and earnestly following everything I believed He called me to do. It’s been a wonderful walk with God. I have seen beautiful miracles of healing, restoration, encounters with angels, timely provision, divine appointments, deliverance, and doors opened that no man could shut. I’m grateful for all those wonderful blessings and supernatural events. Each one sharp in my memory as if it happened just yesterday. Each moment a treasure. But quite honestly, 40 years of walking with God is mostly good, old-fashioned, white-knuckled faith-—in other words…grind.

In my grandmother’s day they’d call these times of glory, “mountain top experiences.” Writers of old described them; Bible teachers expounded on them; Oswald Chambers made an entire devotional about them. Mountain top experiences are the moments when God reaches through the veil of heaven and touches us on the shoulder. He interrupts our daily routines and reminds us of His great power and presence. I love those moments of His nearness and powerful work among us. Why are they so rare and far between? Could we mere mortals not contain the glory? Would our hearts burst? Or is it a lack of faith on my part? I don’t know. The writers of old told us that nothing grows on the mountain top and that the valley, low and dark and moist, is where our growth takes place. Okay. I understand the metaphor. But is it really that simple? Not to be cynical, but I think it is a bit more complicated than that. The glory is a product of God’s grace and love towards us found in Christ Jesus. The glory is God speaking to Abraham and providing all the promises and keeping all the oaths. The Glory is God’s part; the grind is ours. The grind is the daily walk of a follower of Jesus in a broken and fallen world. The grind is the second half of Hebrews chapter 11. The grind is when nothing I feel, see, or am experiencing reflects God’s promises. It’s Sarah no longer menstruating and hearing God’s promise of a child. It’s Moses dying this side of the promised land. It’s burying a loved one way before you’re ready. It’s sitting in a chair with your leg propped up in a boot when you were supposed to be ministering in Holland and Lithuania. It’s joblessness when you are eager and ready to work. It’s when a loved one won’t change even though you’ve been begging God in prayer to perform a miracle.

The grind is the monotony of everyday life where we live out the mundane clinging to the hope that God will make all things new and living out the promise of 2 Corinthians 3:18, (TLB), “But we Christians have no veil over our faces; we can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord. And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him.” Which, might be the reason for the grind – to form us into the image of Jesus which oddly, might just be another form of Glory. Peace.

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43902. Cindy said,
August 3rd, 2019 at 1:33 pm

This is truth. I believe in this & in an Almighty God who knows us and loves us best…when we are in the ‘grind’ of our life, just as a grinder can remove the ‘carbuncles’, He is bringing us to the place of becoming what He created us to be…and all for His glory❤️ Thank you sis❣️

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43905. AnnaJane said,
August 3rd, 2019 at 1:44 pm

Wow, this is such a timely topic for all of us! I often catch myself getting either drowsy or antsy in the grind, but I want to sit up straight and pay attention to what God wants to show me and teach me in these seasons. Thank you for these words that encourage us to think and grow in Christ!

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43989. Barbie said,
August 5th, 2019 at 12:16 am

So true and so well put. I’m not quite 60, but major life changes (changing jobs and moving cross country) bring about the much needed time for reflection. What you have describes resonates with so much I have struggled to be able to communicate to others. And the way you ended by saying “peace” that was just the icing on the cake for me…for in those moments where God has shared his Glory…what has so help me to get from “glory to glory” is His Peace that has carried me thru the valleys. It’s knowing the moments of glory that bring that peace and serve as reminders of his faithfulness on those dark days. Blessings!

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44091. lanaeklund said,
August 6th, 2019 at 12:48 pm

The grind is a purposeful leaning into Him and call to patience. I’m not good at patience but I sure am grateful for a Father that pursues us and wants us to see His glory. Great reminders – thanks Teri!

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