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Grace Beneath the Ice



My husband has caught the fishing bug - from my son-in-law.  lol.

Years ago, my husband used to go fishing every once in a while and that would be enough, but now he is ALL ABOUT fishing - even ice fishing!  Something I never thought he would have been interested in, and I'm not sure he thought he would be either.  lol

But it turns out, my husband catches more fish through the ice than on any perfect summer fishing day.

It doesn't make sense really.  In the summer you have access to all areas of a pond or lake - the shores, the inlets, or out in the middle.  You can cast virtually anywhere on the waters with the hope that your hook will find a fish.

But then again it is that hope that keeps one fishing.  lol.

Many a time my husband or son-in-law have come back from a summer fishing trip and said they got skunked.  {Translation - no fish were caught.}

I remember one time fishing with my son-in-law who happened to be catching fish left and right.  We could literally see the fish swimming all around the canoe, yet I could not catch one single fish!

And then there is the phenomenon of ice fishing.  Several holes dug through at least six inches of ice; sitting in the freezing cold with a little pole, bobbing in one small area, and many fish are caught - as was the case for my husband the past two winters.

It's really quite amazing when you look below the surface of ice whether on a pond or especially a river.  You can still see all the life teaming and active below.

Yet these fish, seek out the few random ice fishing holes to snatch up the morsel that is dangling through...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.
John 1:16

There are times in our spiritual journey when we feel like a river covered in a thick blanket of ice, spiritually hardened...

But the current of God's grace is still moving below, it's just hidden by the icyness of our hearts...

What causes our hearts to ice over...

Disobedience and sin...

Guilt, feeling unworthy of God's love.  {Satan, the father of lies, MO.}

Trials...   

Whether it be consequences of sin or trials, our Heavenly Father uses these spiritually icy times to work in us to be like those hungry fish to search for breaks in the ice to find Him and feed on Him once again... 


And then out of His fullness, by His grace upon grace, we will move in the swiftness of a current that breaks apart the remaining ice and allows all the life that grace imparts to move and have it's way in us once again.

God's grace is like a rushing water.  No sin or trial can keep the Grace of God from bursting forth through the iciness of a hardened or weary heart, when we are sealed with the Holy Spirit.   


And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you
will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
Philippians 1:6


How do we prevent a thick layer of ice from forming over our hearts?  How do we continually live in the grace we have received?

"...through the continuous flow from the inexhaustible Source. ‘Of His fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.’

The word ‘for’ is a little singular. Of course it means instead of, in exchange for; and the Evangelist’s idea seems to be that as one supply of grace is given and used, it is, as it were, given back to the Bestower, who substitutes for it a fresh and unused vessel, filled with new grace. He might have said, grace upon grace; one supply being piled upon the other. But his notion is, rather, one supply given in substitution for the other, ‘new lamps for old ones.’

Just as a careful gardener will stand over a plant that needs water, and will pour the water on the surface until the earth has drunk it up, and then add a little more; so He gives step by step, grace for grace, an uninterrupted bestowal, yet regulated according to the absorbing power of the heart that receives it. Underlying that great thought are two things: the continuous communication of grace, and the progressive communication of grace. We have here the continuous communication of grace. God is always pouring Himself out upon us in Christ. There is a perpetual out flow from Him to us: if there is not a perpetual inflow into us from Him it is our fault, and not His. He is always giving, and His intention is that our lives shall be a continual reception. Are they? How many Christian men there are whose Christian lives at the best are like some of those Australian or Siberian rivers; in the dry season, a pond here, a stretch of sand, waterless and barren there, then another place with a drop of muddy water in some hollow, and then another stretch of sand, and so on. Why should not the ponds be linked together by a flashing stream? God is always pouring Himself out; why do we not always take Him in?

There is but one answer, and the answer is, that we do not fulfil the condition, which condition is simple faith. ‘As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God; even to them that believed on His name.’ Faith is the condition of receiving, and wherever there is a continuous trust there will be an unbroken grace; and wherever there are interrupted gifts it is because there has been an intermitted trust in Him. Do not let your lives be like some dimly lighted road, with a lamp here, and a stretch of darkness, and then another twinkling light; let the light run all along the side of your path, because at every moment your heart is turning to Christ with trust. Make your faith continuous, and God will make His grace incessant, and out of His fulness you will draw continual supplies of needed strength.

But not only have we here the notion of continuous, but also, as it seems to me, of progressive gifts. Each measure of Christ received, if we use it aright, makes us capable of possessing more of Christ. And the measure of our capacity is the measure of His gift, and the more we can hold the more we shall get. The walls of our hearts are elastic, the vessel expands by being filled out; it throbs itself wider by desire and faith. The wider we open our mouths the larger will be the gift that God puts into them. Each measure and stage of grace utilised and honestly employed will make us capable and desirous, and, therefore, possessors, of more and more of the grace that He gives. So the ideal of the Christian life, and God’s intention concerning us, is not only that we should have an uninterrupted, but a growing possession, of Christ and of His grace.


Is that the case with you, my friend? Can you hold more of God than you could twenty years ago? Is there any more capacity in your soul for more of Christ than there was long, long ago?"
MacLaren's Expositions

Heavenly Father, O what amazing love you have bestowed on me.  Out of your fullness you give me grace upon grace.  Please help me to continually trust you with my whole heart, soul and mind.  Holy Spirit let my faith be unbroken no matter the difficulties in life.   Open my mouth wide to receive your grace every second of every day.  Help me to grow in my possession of Christ and His grace, and to show that grace upon grace to others.  In Jesus Precious Name, Amen



Grace Greater Than Our Sin
Julia H. Johnston

Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!
Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured,
There where the blood of the Lamb was spilled.

Refrain

Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin.

Sin and despair, like the sea waves cold,
Threaten the soul with infinite loss;
Grace that is greater, yes, grace untold,
Points to the refuge, the mighty cross.

Refrain

Dark is the stain that we cannot hide.
What can avail to wash it away?
Look! There is flowing a crimson tide,
Brighter than snow you may be today.

Refrain

Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,
Freely bestowed on all who believe!
You that are longing to see His face,
Will you this moment His grace receive?

Refrain


You might find me on these link-ups:
Grace & Truth Link-upWoman to Woman Ministries,  Growing in Grace Link-up, 3DLessonsLif4eInspire Me Monday Titus 2 TuesdayA Wise Women Builds Her HomeA Look at the Book,  Sunday StillnessThe Weekend BrewSpiritual Sundays, Soul Survival,  Give Me GraceA Little R&RTestimony TuesdayWomen with Intention WednesdaysStill SaturdayGood Morning MondaysTell His StoryFaith & Fellowship Blog HopMotivate and Rejuvenate MondaysBe SaltyMonday's MusingsThe Art of Home-Making MondayTuesday TalkWaiting on Wednesday, Reflect His Love and Glory  Words of Comfort Link-upWholehearted WednesdaysTell it to Me TuesdayFaithful at Home Fridays, Faith 'N FriendsTGI SaturdaysSitting Among Friends Encourage Me Monday Words with Winter Essential FridaysSo Much at Home Family, Friendship & Faith House to Home Intentional Tuesday ,Wonderful Wednesday , Monday of Many BlessingsLiteracy Musings Mondays,Imparting GraceSHINE Blog Hop Dance with JesusGive Me GraceBooknificent Thursdays UNITE Cozy Reading SpotMaking Your Home Sing Monday Social Butterfly Sundays  Let Us Grow Small Wonder Link-up Winsome Wednesday Growing in Grace Thursday After My CoffeeRewind Friday

Comments

  1. "God's grace is like a rushing water. No sin or trial can keep the Grace of God from bursting forth through the iciness of a hardened or weary heart, when we are sealed with the Holy Spirit." AMEN What an inspiring post! I love that hymn. It's one of my favorites. Thanks for visiting my blog today. :) Blessings!

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    1. Gayl, When I typed those words, I new it was with the help of the Holy Spirit, because it was almost like I couldn't believe what I saw on the screen. If that makes sense... Praise God for His help in all that we do.

      And thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words. They mean so much!

      You are welcome! I always enjoy coming by. :-)

      Blessings to you too!

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  2. This was an insightful analogy. I enjoyed each part and its applications. God is so good to build up our faith through the experiences he gives us and the consistency of his faithfulness. Be blessed dearie! I responded today to your comment on Harvest Lane Cottage.

    Laura

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    1. Hi Laura, Thank you so much for your kind words. I'm glad you enjoyed the applications. :-)

      Indeed!

      Blessings to you sweet friend.

      P.S. I have tried everything to stop being a "no-reply blogger" and even after changing settings, I still seem to be a no-reply blogger. :-( It's so discouraging because I know I am missing out on fellowship with a few other bloggers because I am never able to see their response and it's hard to go back and revisit blogs just to check. I do appreciate the times you have offered your help and I did follow it, among other attempts that I googled and still to no avail. Thanks for your patience and letting me know that you responded. I will stop on by in a few. :-)

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  3. This is a beautiful reminder and testimony to God's overwhelming goodness. Thank you! Christ be praised.

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    1. Thank you. Indeed our God is overwhelmingly good. :-)

      Thank you for stopping by.

      Blessings.

      Delete
  4. This is a great illustration. I love how God is still moving beneath the surface even in those "icy" times and I think those times can drive us to seek him more. His grace is amazing!

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    1. Carly, Thank you.

      He never leaves us or forsakes us, even though we do at times.

      Indeed, His grace is amazing!

      Thanks for stopping by. :-)

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  5. Karen so nice to visit here via TTHT. What a beautiful picture you draw here today about God's grace. I am so thankful for His undeserved grace and love. Such a lovely prayer as well. Thank you for taking the time to share what God has laid on your heart. Have a wonderful week and may God bless you and yours in all your endeavors!

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    1. Horace, It was so good to see that you had visited! Welcome! :-)

      Thank you so much. Praising God for His leading as I wrote these words.

      You are very welcome!

      You too friend. Blessings to you as well! :-)

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  6. Such a great analogy, Karen. This line especially draws my attention -"God's grace is like a rushing water. No sin or trial can keep the Grace of God from bursting forth through the iciness of a hardened or weary heart, when we are sealed with the Holy Spirit." I love it! God's grace is so amazing. Blessings to you!

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    1. Trudy, Thank you for your kind words.

      Praising God for His leading as those words came to me as I prayed while writing this blog post.

      Indeed, His grace is so amazing!

      Thanks for stopping by! Blessings to you too!

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  7. I'll never view ice fishing in the same way again! What a fresh metaphor!

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    1. Michele, :-)

      Thank you for your kind words.

      Blessings.

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  8. First of I love the name of your blog! Anything with grace catches my eye. Your metaphor is very creative and thought out. This was such a beautiful post on grace. It is the only reason I survive.

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    1. Kristina, Awe, thank you! I actually struggled with what to name my blog when I first began, but then this name came to me and seemed perfect for my blog's intent. :-)

      Thank you for your kind words.

      Indeed, the grace of God is so amazing.

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  9. I am not familiar with ice fishing being from Texas, but I LOVE the figurative symbol of ice used with your lesson. It was perfect!

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    1. Alice, Oh I would imagine not! lol.

      Thank you so much for your kind words. :-)

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  10. I'm so glad that God offers to cover me with his grace--I'm pretty petty and helpless without it--it allows me to extend kindness to others and yes, I hope I definintely have more room in my life for God the older I get :).

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    1. Thank you for sharing in the conversation. :-)

      And thanks for stopping by!

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  11. Yes to all of this! What a great analogy with the ice fishing too. We can definitely have times when we are hardened, but Gid's Grace is always there!

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    1. Ginny, Thank you!

      Indeed.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. I appreciate it! :-)

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  12. Karen,
    I loved your analogies - particularly the ice fishing. Thanks for linking to Word of God Speak.
    Blessings,
    Janis

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    1. Janis, Thank you so much for your kind words. The Lord is so faithful as He leads me to write.

      You are welcome! I enjoy the fellowship there. :-)

      Blessings.

      Delete
  13. I love word pictures, analogies - they always help me understand something better. Your use of ice fishing is spot on! I am in a time of trial, and yes, sometimes I feel like I'm covered in icy coldness. I long for the sun to break through, to melt me. And yet, I feel God's current of grace, strong and steady, as it flows ever deeper in my heart.

    This was so very encouraging to me today, Karen. Thank you for all the wonderful thoughts that have strengthened me greatly.

    GOD BLESS!

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    1. Sharon,

      Thank you for your kind words and for sharing in the conversation. I appreciate it so much!

      Praising God that He used this post to refresh and encourage you. All Glory to Him as He is so faithful to help me as I write.

      I'm so glad you stopped by! :-)

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  14. I really enjoyed reading this. I am so thankful that God comes with his fullness of grace and breaks apart any ice that covers my heart. Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Barbie, I'm so glad!

      Indeed! He pursues us with an everlasting Love.

      You are welcome!

      Blessings.

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  15. This is a beautiful analogy. I'm so very thankful for a God who is always working beyond the surface, far deeper than our eyes can see, working His grace in big ways and small. Thank you for linking up with us at Grace & Truth!

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    1. Jennifer, Thank you so much!

      And thank you for adding to the conversation. I appreciate hearing your thoughts.

      You are welcome. Always enjoy Grace & Truth! :-)

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