Saturday, June 26, 2010

Opportunities for Grace

We've had a few things NOT go smoothly lately.

For those who don't know us, we are in the process of buying a house.

It is THE house. The GOD house that we know that we know that we know He found for us. We are dreaming of wonderful times with family and friends, not to mention chooks, vegie gardens and fruit trees. We love the little village community in which it is located. Seriously - this is THE house!!

Along the way there have been some remarkable ways in which things have fallen together unexpectedly super-smoothly. For example,there was a tenant with a loooong lease (& we really
needed to move sooner rather than later). It turned out she had been wanting to move out & jumped at the chance to break her lease so quickly that she was out before settlement - & in an impossible rental market where we were told it just couldn't happen. Ian needed to take accrued leave from work, and holidays had to be booked before we had any idea when we might be moving. The tenant moved and we were given early occupancy - right when Ian's holidays fell... and there have been other little "synchronicities" that have just amazed us. Yep - God is blessing us and the evidence is all right there in the way things are going so smoothly - right? Actually, WRONG - on both counts! Well, God hasn't changed any - but things going smoothly / being the evidence... that's another story!

After all this seemingly almost "magical" coming together of everything, we have hit a snag. Last week it seemed like a HUGE snag - still could be. The vendors have experienced some kind of difficulty making the settlement. That was supposed to take place two days ago. It hasn't. We have no definite date - and there is even a question mark over whether it will take place at all. To add insult to injury, the legal process involved has been quite unpleasant. We have received communications from their solicitor that seem quite adversarial, and although we have been careful to reply softly, it is starting to feel as if somehow, through events quite unrelated to us, we are being cast as "the enemy" by people we haven't even met. No fair!!! I don't know how much of this is simply due to the nature of the legal process - but we've tried to extend grace in the small opportunities we've been given. In spite of this it seems as if, at this point, grace is very much a one-way street.

In the middle of all this, it has been easy to feel slighted, angry, and very anxious! I confess I have lost some sleep. And it has been a definite challenge to the idea that I hold so dear, that to follow Jesus is to be an agent of grace to the world. It is not easy to face hostility with grace, or to continue to be gracious when your efforts are not reciprocated - or perhaps not even perceived. But you know what, if I can only be gracious when it is easy or the payoff is immediate and satisfying - how is that really grace?

So anyway, the rubber has had to hit the road this week. It has been a small reminder that for grace or love to count for anything, there really needs to be a reason NOT to show either. I don't know what will happen with our house - although I believe it will be alright (& although we have had conversations with our conveyancer about "what happens if..." the likelihood that it will fall through is small). And grace does still seem to be moving for us... I had to put 4 different tradespeople/services "on hold" because our expected start date for some remodelling has gone up in smoke. In each case I was anxious about it, because a) we were now having to inconvenience others who had acted in good faith with us, and b) if we cancelled or postponed our bookings, chances were that we would not be able to re-book for a few weeks as they would have other jobs. Guess what - ALL FOUR had had delays of their own and were relieved that we were not ready for them!! Awesome!

With grace like that extended to me - how can I not extend it to others?

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