God’s Unending Grace

left hand
Photo by Immortal shots on Pexels.com

By Michael W. Raley

My life’s path is littered with regret,

Where I had the best of intentions,

Yet things did not work out for the best.

I look back on those days with equal amounts of frustration and lamentation.

In the midst of this darkness, I try to hold onto the Light,

Though I can’t make any of this right.

My hope and strength are gone,

Sorrowful, seemingly unable to carry on.

The failed experiences have left me feeling jarred

And left me to play a hand of worthless cards.

In my mind I am broken and defeated,

Paralyzed with indecision,

For fear that the past will be repeated.

I once again fall back into a depression.

Then my spirit comes into a revelation

That there is hope, there is salvation.

I remember that God’s grace

Is bigger than any mistake I can make.

The past, of course, can’t be erased,

But I can go forward in grace,

If you will, a heavenly clean slate

Which gives me the opportunity to get back in the race,

Without the feelings of failure, self-loathing and hate.

As long as I have breath, it’s not too late

Thanks to God’s unending grace.





Budgeting Our Days

Creating and sticking to a financial budget is one of the keys to managing our money and resources properly. When we track our finances, we can see where our money is going and can look for ways to improve our spending and saving habits. Of course, a budget can be wrecked by unexpected expenses- sickness, a major home or car repair, a job loss, and the like. The point is that God has given us all a finite amount of resources and we are to be good stewards of our blessings. The question becomes what if we treated our lives like a budget? All of us are given an uncertain amount of days- how are we spending our ‘day budget’?

James 4:14 says, “Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” (NKJV).

Compared to the vastness of eternity, the 60, 70, 80, 90 years or so of our lives are nothing more than dew on the morning grass, which dries up when the sun rises. Just as you would seek the wise counsel of a financial advisor or a friend, so to we must seek God when it comes to living our lives.

“Lord, make me to know my end, and what is the measure of my days, that I may know how frail I am. Indeed, You have made my days as handbreadths, and my age is as nothing before You; certainly every man at his best state is but vapor. Selah” (Psalm 39:4-5, NKJV).

“So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12, NKJV).

Going back to the budget analogy, there are ways we can increase our income- get a higher paying job, sell unwanted or unused items, pay off debts, receiving an inheritance, but we cannot increase the day budget of our lives. So, given an undetermined number of days to live is it really worth going through life holding a grudge? Is it really worth your time to be angry and unforgiving about events in the past you cannot change? Is it really productive to be bound by the fear of the unknown? Is that addiction really worth it? Can you afford to put off God for one more day?

“Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:31-32, NKJV).

There is an old Chinese proverb that says, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Take that first step today. Do not spend any time lamenting the past- confess it to God and let it go. Make your days count. Praise God. Love your family. God bless you all.