Surprised by Grace

As you may have heard, we had quite a destructive storm come through the DC area last night. I’ve never experienced anything like it. Thanks to Capital Weather Gang, we had a heads up and they aren’t the guys who unnecessarily freak out. So, I knew when they said that this one was no joke, it was no joke. The storm came in and out quickly, but we lost power immediately. When we got up this morning, it looked like a tornado had gone through our neighborhood. We realized how lucky we were when we saw trees on house and cars. Still, we had no power and it was evident that it would not be coming on anytime soon.

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We decided to try and find a hotel. Unfortunately, the PGA AT&T Golf Tournament is taking place at Congressional Golf Course, which is right near our house and all of the hotels were full. We also have a dog, so we needed to find a place that was pet friendly. It turned out not to be easy to find a place that also had power. We decided to go for breakfast because our son was “famished”. I’ve never actually heard Mr. Picky Pants express hunger this way, so I knew we had a situation on our hands. We sat at breakfast and tried to figure out what to do. We considered sucking it up, but the heat index was expected to be near 110 today. I was nearing tears when we got a text from a guy that Lloyd knows from transportation circles. He said that they were leaving town for a week this afternoon and that we were welcome to stay at their house…which has power.

We were just beside ourselves. Lloyd has known this guy for a few years via work connections. I had met him once but his wife had never met us at all. And here they were, offering their home to us. Honestly, if I’d made a list of all of the people in the area that we know who would have reached out to us in that way, they probably wouldn’t have bee very high on the list. Not because they aren’t great people, but because we don’t have that kind of relationship with them….or so I thought.

This morning, as we were trying to formulate a plan, our 12 year old remarked that he wasn’t worried…he knew God would provide. And, we knew that too. But, we didn’t expect this kind of provision. And it reminded us that God is always going ahead of us, preparing a way. I am guilty of acknowledging that God is in control and still trying to be in control myself. That’s not to say that we don’t need to do leg work. We do. We can’t just sit sweltering in our house and expecting God to walk in the front door and give us the solution. But, in our diligence, we need to allow God to do what he’s going to do.

In the midst of all of this, we had found a hotel. It had availability for a couple of nights and took dogs. And we had the means to pay for it although it wasn’t something that was in our budget. I will admit that while I will gladly open my doors to anyone (and was upset that I didn’t have power and couldn’t help others!), I often struggle with accepting help from others. It’s probably a pride issue. Ok, it’s definitely a pride issue. And I had to fight the urge to just say “we’ve got it handled”. It would have been fine.

But I would not have been so surprised by grace. I would not have had the opportunity to get to know these people who are obviously worth knowing better. And I wouldn’t have the opportunity to say to our son “yes…you were right. God provided for us” — and he did it in such an unexpected way that we can only point to His grace. It wasn’t because of anything that we did.

And that is the gospel.

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