Monday, June 30, 2014

Monday morsel: a mysterious way (from Marlena Graves)

Last month I entered a draw on Micha Boyett's blog to win a copy of Marlena Graves' new book A Beautiful Disaster:  Finding Hope in the Midst of Brokenness, and I won.  (This is the third book I've won in a draw in the past year!)  I am loving this beautiful book.  Marlena is a gentle, wise mentor giving encouragement to anyone who is going through difficult times:  she shares parts of her own life story, stories from the Bible, and reflections on what she has learned through wilderness experiences.  Here is a section from the book that I'm finding particularly meaningful at present:

When we are increasingly patient in the midst of trying circumstances and even in the mundane events of every day, we can rejoice with our Father in heaven and all his angels because it is evident he has provided for us.

Provision in the wilderness may look like death.  In our dying, we are as a single kernel of wheat, buried in the ground, dying, and producing many more kernels.  In a mysterious way, and for reasons known only to him, God uses our mortification -- the thousand little and spectacular deaths we die in this life -- as a means of provision for others.  Our deaths to self are a means of grace for others and vice versa.

We die, laying down our lives, so others may live.  We lay down our lives for our friends -- and our enemies.  At least, that's what we're supposed to do as followers of Jesus.  I don't believe we'll ever know the eternal implications of our obedience to God.  We'll never exactly comprehend how in our dying he provides for others.  But we too are broken bread and poured out wine.  A divine mystery.
 Marlena Graves, A Beautiful Disaster 
2014, Brazos Press


  1. The analogy of a single kernel of wheat really helps drive home the beauty of mortification. Good stuff.
    This sounds like a great book.

    You've won three books this past year?! Oh my word. I've never entered a blog give-away. I've been missing out on some serious fun!

    1. You sure have, Adriana! I won Heather Kopp's memoir Sober Mercies, Theresa Shea's novel The Unfinished Child, and now this book. (As the butter said, "I'm on a roll.")

      This IS a great book -- one you want to savour. You get the sense that the author is sharing from some very deep places, and you want to journey right along with her.

  2. Thank you Jeannie, for sharing this piece from my book. It is something I must remind myself of and of course, we all have Jesus to look to as an example. Thank you for your kind words about me and my book. They are such an encouragement. And also thank you to Adriana.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Marlena. Monday is my quote day, and I love sharing bits of what I'm reading. These words really spoke to me this week as I read them. God bless you & your family!


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