3 July 2019 - Burlingame, Kansas
“Life gets mighty precious when there’s less of it to waste… I found love, love in the nick of time.” (From “Nick of Time,” by Bonnie Raitt)
“My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9a)
Bonnie Raitt’s song, “Nick of Time,” is a song about aging and being “scared to run out of time.” It’s also a song about finding love - “love in the nick of time.”
I have been experiencing God’s grace in the nick of time, time and time again, on this walk across the United States. And what is grace if not a form of God’s love?
Here is a recent example…
I had a wonderful reunion with my wife, Julia, last weekend in Kansas City, MIssouri and Lawrence, Kansas. And then, on Monday morning, I resumed my walk, walking away from our hotel in Lawrence a couple of hours before Julia headed to the airport to fly back to Colorado. As great as the time with Julia was, that walking away from her on Monday - it didn’t feel like a walk toward a destination, but a walking away from her - was tough, I can assure you.
But that Monday evening our friends, Tom and Robin Olschner, put me up in hotel room, and Tom found a pastor in Lawrence, Tim Anderson (who serves a Church of the Brethren congregation in Lone Star, Kansas) to shuttle me back and forth on Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning. And then, after my walk on Tuesday, one of my Colorado friends, Randy Hickernell, met up with me in Overbrook and drove me to Pomona State Park, where we shared a campsite by Pomona Lake. The timing of Randy showing up could not have been more perfect. After saying goodbye to Julia, the day before, I needed a boost, a pick-me-up. Seeing a friend who I’ve shared trails and mountain summits with in Colorado, who wanted to spend a few days with me and support me as I continued my walk - with lodging, by walking with me for a few miles today, by transporting some of my gear in his car so I had a “light pack” day, in these and other ways, too -well, I was graced by Randy’s presence.
And this has happened over and over again - by all the people who have hosted me (tonight it is Dan and Becky Muzzy and their chocolate lab, Coco!), given me rides to and from my walk route, paid for a meal, made a donation on behalf of children, sent me an encouraging text, prayed for and/or with me, or called me when I needed to hear a familiar voice.
Paul, when describing what he called a “thorn… in the flesh”, said that three times he appealed to the Lord that it would leave him. Instead of that prayer being answered, he heard the Lord say, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.”
God’s grace has certainly been sufficient for me during this walk. When I have experienced my own sorts of “thorns”… when I have been emotionally down… when I have not been sure in certain moments how I would keep going… God shows up, very often through people, right in the nick of time.
How have you experienced God’s grace lately? Has it been grace in the nick of time?
If so, say a prayer of thanks to God before you go to sleep tonight, or right now!