I was chatting with some photographer friends this morning on Facebook, and realized that I’m entering my fourth year of business. Not my fourth year as a photographer. My fourth year as a full-time, self-employed business-owner. Just slightly overwhelming. So unspeakably grateful for God’s kindness, His provision, and for so many loving family and friends to support and encourage me along the way. Grace is such the humbling thing.
Grace is also quite easy to forget.
The past two months have had their fare share of discouragement, doubt, questioning, struggle. I finished up 2011 work, started thinking forward to 2012 work, and quickly melted into a puddle of tears. I was about five minutes away from just calling it quits, and that is not an exaggeration. “I just want a normal job, with a boss, and coworkers, and brainless work, and set hours. I can’t do this on my own anymore!!” Seriously. About five minutes away. Thankfully, my sweet roommate talked me down from my proverbial ledge and reminded me that this is not how I usually think or feel, and that God has always been faithful in the past, and His grace will continue.
But why, in light of such grace, would I doubt? Because I am a forgetful girl, that’s why. I gladly accept God’s gifts and care for me, walk away, and five minutes later forget that they came from Him, and that they reflect His character.
I read part of Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening over coffee this morning, and found it dually convicting and encouraging:
What! Did you never have a sickness like that which you are suffering now, and did He not restore you? Were you never poor before, and did He not supply your wants? Were you never in difficulties before, and did He not deliver you? Arise, go to the river of your experience, pull up a few bulrushes, and fashion them into an ark, in which your infant faith may float safely on the stream…
Do not forget what your God has done for you; turn over the book of your remembrance, and consider the days of old. Did the Lord never meet with you? Have you never been helped in time of need? I know you have…
Go back, then, a little way to the choice mercies of yesterday, and though all may be dark now, light up the lamps of the past—they shall glitter through the darkness, and you shall trust in the Lord till the day break and the shadows flee away.
My take-away? Work on my memory. Practice gratefulness. Carefully record daily evidences of grace. So that next time I get discouraged, next time I feel like quitting everything, next time I doubt that God is good and kind and faithful, I will be able to “light up the lamps of the past” and trust God.
As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; He is a shield for all those who take refuge in Him. —Psalm 18:30