I’m a wanderer. A daydreamer. An encourager and a deep thinker. My steps are well thought out even in my wandering ways. Life is not always kind to those who need time to process information or who sometimes desire the path that is less followed. God knows. He sees and He cares. This is where grace upon grace enters. This is where hopeless meets hope-filled and challenges lose their strength as God fills the gap.
It has taken me many years to understand grace. I claim head knowledge of the word, but until I embraced a relationship with Jesus, my heart was lagging far behind. The word “grace” has many different definitions, but the Christian perspective teaches us that it is the love and mercy given to us by God–not because of anything we have done to earn it. This is where my upbringing tussles with what God says about grace.
I grew up knowing that if I followed the rules then I wouldn’t suffer the consequences. If I was good, then I would go to heaven. The Ten Commandments were my rule book and if I broke a rule there would be dire consequences. As a child, the thought of making a mistake terrified me because I might go to hell. Everything was spelled out and the gift of grace was never mentioned. I lived an “If/Then” kind of life.
Where did it all start?
If I were to venture a guess, I would say some of you grew up with similar experiences. My parents raised me in faith like their parents before them. It was what they knew and the legacy they chose to continue. It was a beautiful foundation for me and I in turn raised my sons in the same church.
Grace entered my life well into my adulthood. I always loved the idea of this free gift but found out the true meaning when life threw me a number of left turns I had not planned for. Leave it to God to throw you something unexpected to learn the greatest lesson of all.
December 31, 2012 was the day that grace came pouring out. It was also the same day I began my blogging journey. I wrote:
Today the challenge is beginning my story of grace and how God reminds me in the ordinary routines and chores of each day that He is always present.
You see grace is God’s good idea and He chooses to shower us with it when we become His son or daughter.
I needed a way to make sense of all that was happening in my life. When I began to write consistently, the words spilled out and over into healing. That is grace. It is the intersection of heartache and healing and it is God’s perfect gift for us.
Will grace ever run out?
I wonder if you have ever asked this same question. Does God ever stop granting us new mercies each morning? All I know is that I cannot see myself making it through a day without grace. It seems I can’t live without God’s touch to shore me up when I falter in my relationship with Him.
My Bible study ladies have shared so many hard things lately. It’s not just the pandemic and the aftershocks we are currently facing, but real-life family messes and brokenness that overwhelms us. So we ask …
Is there grace in the moments when we really do not know what to say or what our next step should be? How do we continue to draw from the well of God’s love when it feels like every step forward is really leading us backward?
What I know is this:
I received God’s grace when I accepted Jesus into my heart. My sins were wiped clean and my salvation was secured. God has never said that His grace will run out. Instead, He tells us:
He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time ( 2 Timothy 1:9).
Grace is here to stay. It is not only God’s good idea but the gift He lovingly gives when we choose a life of redemption and salvation in Him.
One thing I’m learning to do is to lean in and hear from God. I am far from perfect in this endeavor but each day is a blank slate to try again and keep on going.
What if the answer to drawing closer is to embrace a posture of grace. What if it looks like the simple act of leaning in and surrendering to God.
This is how I describe this approach:
A posture of grace looks like leaning in close to learn and hear from God. As we lean in and draw near God takes us under His wing and holds us close to Him. Our nearness to God sets us up to receive not only His grace but all He has for us. We are strengthened when we accept God’s gifts and secure when we set them free. Surrendering to grace prepares others to receive the overflow of abundance that comes from the Father.
N.T. Wright describes grace in Advent for Everyone: A Journey with the Apostles, like this:
Grace looks like living for the good name of being God’s people rather than hanging on for dear life to silver and gold.
Let’s live in the name of Jesus. Let’s lean in and let go. Together we can approach the throne of grace with confidence because God is there waiting.
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16).Leave it to God to throw you something unexpected to learn the greatest lesson of all. Join me for more of my grace journey on the blog. #newpost #TellHisStory #linkup Click To Tweet
May God lead you closer to Him this week through your own simple acts of receiving and giving grace.
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