Grace for the Ordinary
by Ann Higginbottom
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.
2 Corinthians 9:8
The day started earlier than usual. Our baby woke up well before his “normal” time, and just like that, we were off and running. It was one of those mornings when everything just felt off. I was beyond exhausted. I fumbled through the kitchen to start my much-needed coffee and prepare breakfast for a busy one year old. I closed the kitchen cabinet with a bit too much gusto (and admittedly, some exhausted frustration), and then, the sound of shattered glass—never a good sign, no matter the time of day. But there’s something particularly provoking about broken glass before 6:00 am. My favorite cake platter acquired a chip, just large enough and sharp enough to render it dangerous and useless. I gripped the counter and hung my head. Not the start to my day that I had imagined. Where’s the reset button?
The morning progressed, and it seemed as though things were piling up. I had lost perspective. I felt like a snowball rolling down a hill—gaining speed and heading towards an inevitable crash. There wasn’t one particular issue that day, just a slew of miniscule bothers that combined to leave me feeling short and shallow. I felt short towards those I love dearly and shallow in my understanding of God’s grace. It had been an ordinary morning, nothing flashy, nothing tragic. Just daily life, and it was getting the best of me. But that’s the beauty of the Gospel. It cuts through the muck and mire of ordinary days and messy hearts to do what we can’t do for ourselves. That morning I found myself desperate for heart-level change.
I have been a mom for a little over a year now. Everything I thought I understood—the good things and the hard things—has been radically reorganized by a precious, bright-eyed boy. I have tasted the goodness of God in ways I never imagined. How deep the Father’s love for us! Oh, the beauty and depth and truth of that beloved hymn! I grapple with understanding the depth of my love for my son, and then I consider the infinitely higher, deeper, stronger love of Christ. What grace! Motherhood has humbled me beyond any other role. I find myself at a loss for words, which is an unsettling and challenging feeling for a writer! But oh, if anything should render me speechless, it should be the grace of God!
I have come to realize the staggering sufficiency of Christ in the ordinary moments of life. Life as a mom to a toddler can seem routine. Most of my days consist of three main categories: eating, napping, and playing. Sleep and then repeat. Yet each day feels so full and so purposeful. That is a picture of the sufficiency of Christ. Paul points this out beautifully in 2 Corinthians 9:8, “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.” The Lord has used this verse to sustain me in moments when I have felt the weight of my own insufficiency—moments before the sun is up and glass is already shattering. Christ meets us in the ordinary moments and reminds us that the sufficiency to live life to the glory of God can only come from one source. He provides all that we need so that we may abound in every good work.
One of my favorite moments of the day is getting to rock our son to sleep at night. It is generally a peaceful process. Those quiet moments before sleep give me the opportunity to tell Will things I long for him to know. It feels like a sacred moment, like a chance to speak into his heart and life and beg the Lord to speak louder than my words. I sing and rock him until he’s asleep. As I carry him towards the crib, I whisper something to him. It is something that I deeply believe for him and desperately long for him to understand. I started doing this when Will was a newborn, and, at times, I feel like I do it out of routine more than anything else. But after a long, ordinary day of picking up glass and battling for perspective, I heard my own words in a new way. “Your deepest need is Jesus, Will. In Him you all have that you need.” I stood over his crib and felt the weight of those words on my soul. Did I really believe that? Sure, I believe it for Will, but do I believe it for myself? Oh Lord, give me grace to see! The Gospel is staggering, and the Lord’s love is sufficient for every single need, not only for an infant, but also for a sinful mama feeling trapped in the ordinary.
Grace for the ordinary moments and days—what a gift! Lord, grant us grace to believe that, truly, You are sufficient! Like an ocean, Your grace is deep, deep, deep—beyond what we can imagine—and it is sufficient for our greatest need.
His sufficiency is enough. My deepest need is Jesus, and in Him, I have all that I need.