He Giveth More Grace - Salvation Army Canada
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    He Giveth More Grace

    November 27, 2020 by Major Beverly Ivany

    I might be old fashioned; but I love our songbook. So many of the songs lift my spirit and give me great encouragement – enabling me to face whatever’s going on in my life. Right now I’m thinking about Christmas and what it’s going to look like this year. I love this beautiful season—usually filled with so many activities and sharing with people; the singing of the beautiful carols and the anticipation of many family gatherings. And of course, the looking forward to the celebration of Christ’s birth—and all that it means to each one of us who embrace faith.

    This year is going to be very different for us all. Of course, we still celebrate Christ’s birth and the significance it brings. Nothing can take that away from us! But most everything else this year will be quite different. I am trying to be and stay positive. Yet, if I’m being honest, these last nine months have been hard. Hard on our family, yes. But much more difficult for others—who have endured suffering, heartache, even loss of life.

    So I go to my songbook and turn to one of my favourite songs (# 30), especially when using the tune that uses the third verse as the refrain. It begins like this:

    He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater,

    He sendeth more strength as our labours increase,

    To added afflictions he addeth his mercy

    To multiplied trials he multiplies peace.

    I especially love this song because my mother (who was an extraordinary singer) and I sang it many times as a duet. When she was just three years older than I am now, she lost her leg to cancer; then lost her husband (my dad) the year after. It was an extremely difficult time for her. Yet she would sing these beautiful words with such conviction—fully convinced the Lord was with her, every step of the way.

    Annie Johnson, who was born in the middle of the 19th century, lost both her parents before she was six years of age. A childless couple named Flint adopted her and cared for her. Annie became a poet and song-writer, But she soon became very ill—to the point of not being able to open her hands to type. So she used her knuckles instead. In writing this beautiful song, the words were authentic—because she knew of great loss, affliction, trials and suffering. Yet she says to us all:

    When we have exhausted our store of endurance,

    When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,

    When we reach the end of our hoarded resources

    Our Father’s full giving is only begun.

    These last months have been difficult, no question. And the days ahead look rather bleak as well. Some of us have “exhausted our store of endurance” for sure. Our strength, at times, gone. And some days we just might feel that we’ve reached ‘the end of our hoarded resources”. Yet… yet… what does Annie remind us of in her beautiful words? “Our Father’s full giving is only begun”! The Lord is with us! And He will see us through—even this Christmas season.

    Yes, we will be missing so many wonderful activities. Yes, we might have to give up various traditions—for the sake of keeping safe, and keeping others safe as well. But Christ DID come! We have this to celebrate. And no one, or no “thing”—even this virus-- can steal our joy, which comes from deep down in our hearts. Friends, we have heard this time and again; but we are in this TOGETHER. And we will make this Christmas one of a kind, never to be forgotten. Yes, together we can celebrate God’s great love for us all, because-- and if you know the tune, sing it with me:

    His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,

    His power no boundary known unto men;

    For out of His infinite riches in Jesus

    He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.

    What greater gift can be given to us than God’s great love? What greater gift can we give to others this Christmas than the sharing of our Lord’s love with family and friends—and those who don’t even know Christ as their Lord and Saviour? “No limits!” “No measure!” May God’s precious, glorious presence be known to you—in a new and wonderful way--right now. And may this Christmas season be a beautiful blessing, as you bask in God’s amazing grace and lavish love poured over you in these days.

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