A Graceful Heart

Pulse article written by Rachel Jordan

It’s Friday morning and I’m the only one at work thus far. I’m assuming the others will come rolling in but are probably still recouping from last night’s Winter Reception. As much as a big event takes out of you, I had a tough time sleeping. I just couldn’t help but replay every moment of last night’s event. The Nehemiah Foundation is known for The Winter Reception and its precision, elegance, good food, relaxed mood, flow, and exciting information through touching stories of our ministries and about our previous year and where we’re headed.

Last night it seemed everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. As I began picking apart the planning stages and placing blame where needed, especially on myself, God gave me a nudge. He reminded me that as important as it is to put on a great event, that nothing in our mission statement says anything about putting on a perfect event. Our mission is so much deeper than that. Sometimes we all need reminded of this. God reminded me about our theme for this year, “Courage, Be Not Moved”. During some of the less than perfect moments of the event last night I encountered some very gracious people, who even amongst a little chaos, were not condemning. Instead they were uplifting because they know we are only human and the imperfect moments were not what this event is truly about. I also encountered some bitter people who were disappointed they had to wait a little longer and that the event was not as precise as it normally is. God really tugged at my heart. Sometimes we need God to remind us what Christ-like really means through our experience with others. I was grateful to those who were gracious to us and I understood the ones who weren’t. They both made me take a better look at myself.

How do I act toward others in the midst of chaos? I really strive to be nice to everyone, but I definitely could think of times I criticized people who must not have done their job right and inconvenienced me, or when an order has been incorrect and I made it known how unhappy I was, etc. Was it really that critical my food was wrong or I had to wait a little longer? Of course not! There’s nothing wrong with wanting good service and expecting a good work ethic from our community and country, but I forgot my own humanness and was certainly lacking the grace that God gives to me daily.

“Courage, Be Not Moved!” See, courage is often needed in the midst of chaos and hardships. Satan is constantly trying to pull us down. It’s easy for me to see his deception when I condemn people when I could lift them up instead. I miss the opportunity for a better end result. I recognize even more how graciously responsive Jesus is to my mess-ups. His beautiful response of love and grace would be full of hope for a second chance.

Have courage my friends, do not let Satan move you away from your core purpose—love. We should love one another in spite of…. We have recently celebrated Valentine’s Day. I did not plan to write about love, but with yesterday’s event, God placed this on my heart, and I’m glad he reminded me because I can’t wait to go love on somebody! I don’t need a sweetheart or even Valentine’s Day to do this. I want to love on everyone every day. Instead of being so critical of each other, let’s really impact one another’s lives by simply loving and uplifting each other, especially those in chaotic situations. People stuck in these situations are probably expecting to be condemned by others and are already condemning themselves. Let’s be that positive loving change God has called us to.

1 Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”
John 13:35 “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”