When God’s enough, there’s grace enough

Rev. r. J. Lillie and wife Norma celebrate with my parents on a wedding anniversary.

Rev. R. J. Lillie (left) and wife Norma celebrate with my parents on their 25th wedding anniversary.

“When God’s enough, there’s grace enough.”- Ann Voskamp, The Broken Way

“Therefore since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.”- Romans 5:1-2

“However weak we are, however poor, however little our faith, or however small our grace may be, our names are still written on His heart, nor shall we lose our share of Jesus’ love.”- Charles Spurgeon

My parents’ transfer to Ashburn Lutheran Church (Chicago) roughly coincided with the beginning of Rev. Reynold J. Lillie’s ministry (1956-1983) there.  During Rev. Lillie’s pastorate, our relationship matured from confirmand to ministry assistant (acolyte and Sunday School pianist) to colleague (principal organist during freshman year at River Forest).  In all my roles, Rev. Lillie demonstrated grace, affirmation, and support.

Most noteworthy, friendship provided the foundation for Pastor Lillie’s relationship with the Henning family.  Pastor and Norma participated in significant family events.  As Ann Voskamp writes in The Broken Way, such remembrances become a healing:

“There’s a cupping grace to it — how remembering becomes a healing.  We welcome remembering, we hold remembering, we let remembering wrap around us and carry us like a dance that need not end.”

However, Ann ponders whether all the bad brokenness in the world traces back to the act of forgetting.  Therefore, fear walks in when we forget that God’s enough, that what He gives is good enough.  Furthermore, chronic soul amnesia causes us to forget God’s provision of more than enough or that we can live into intimate communion with Him.

As a result, we must live the joy wonder in what Ms. Voskamp describes as the “messy, piercing ache of now”, rather than seeking the holy grail of joy in mountaintop experiences.  For if we can give thanks, joy always is possible.

In conclusion, Ann reminds us that Jesus continues to calm all our storms, that He is enough:

“Jesus didn’t just calm one storm — He can calm all our storms.  Jesus sings grace in the wind, He pours mercy out like rain. . . . And He comes as a sign to us, a sign God’s reaching for us, believing in us, in love, in redemption, in making all things new, in making us enough because He is.”

About the author

Dave Henning


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