So thankful for the grace of another week.
Because last week was less than wonderful.
Thinking back, we really needed hefty doses of one very special life-ingredient.
We watch around the world all the moments that required less opinion-giving and more grace-giving.
We watch and forget to Whom it is we belong.
The most epic Giver of Grace.
An epidemic of letting our opinions get the better of us, our words doing the lashing, safe in our little online cocoons, our hearts were nothing noble but still boisterous.
And real flesh and blood people making judgement calls out of desperation and without seasoning their acts with, what else, grace.
And I turn my eyes on myself.
I’m pretty sure I was horrid last week on so many levels.
We’ll affectionately call it Flu Week.
Went from tiny knives in the throat to a sinus infection of insane proportions back to a cough that pulled muscles and brought on headaches.
I felt horrible.
But then I acted horrible.
I cannot tell a lie. I didn’t just act a little sniffly. I didn’t just whine a bit and stay in my room with my cup o’ soup.
I wandered about the house every once in a while to let my husband know in no uncertain terms that if I was miserable, he was going to be miserable. I’m pretty sure the term ‘weeping and gnashing of teeth’ was coined after a sick wife spent far too much time in her bible-times tent making sure everyone and the dog knew how crappy her week was going.
And they did not have cup o’ soup to make it right again.
If anything went wrong, I blamed him. If something was forgotten at the pharmacy, I went foolish. If I couldn’t sleep, I found ways to make sure he wasn’t having fun either.
I used my sickness as my excuse and my license.
I go day-to-day and forget to Whom it is I belong.
The most epic Source of Grace.
“Jesus took your rejection so that on your darkest, most arrogant, most self-righteous day, you would never see the back of God’s head. That’s Grace.”
Paul Tripp, Pastor/Writer/Speaker
With sin covered by Him with a massive gesture of freedom we never deserved ever, you’d think we’d be smothering people in His good grace, all day long.
Now that Flu Week is over, I’m so thankful for grace. The Gospel of Grace means shame can flee. Mistakes are forgiven.
Grace keeps taking a stand.
We can partake of it hourly, weekly, minute-by-minute.
I sit here in my tiny gazebo as I write, inhaling fresh air wafting in on the breeze of Grace. The dog snoring beside me, bells pealing from the church at the top of the hill, birds twittering. I sit and the fresh air caressing the maple washes away any lingering germs.
And Grace washes away any lingering wrongs.
In my head for a moment I hear the hymn I grew up with, it’s chorus skipping over and over for holy emphasis…
“Grace greater than all our sins…”
The one ingredient that makes us Receivers and Keepers all at once.
The receiver of grace says, “Lord, I ask for Your grace to step in here now…”
The keeper of grace says, “Lord, I ask that You propel me to shower Your grace here now…”
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God: not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
We need to be a people more anchored in Grace.
And since we certainly don’t deserve it… no one else needs to either.
It’s given freely to each one, and so, we give it freely away.
How long will it take me to learn this?
I’m afraid we are a group of believers a little low on Grace lately. It needs to be the filter our words pour through, our opinions are examined under, our attitudes injected with.
Grace as a filter. I want that.
For grace-distribution to be my knee-jerk reaction instead of waiting to see how much one might deserve it and why.
Receptacles of poured-out grace, we bring glory to the One we belong to.
A new week is coming.
A new chance for grace to be our compass. Our mission. Our fuel.
It can still be the one ingredient in our lives that we can’t get enough of. Because our hurting, chaotic world can’t get enough of it either.
Maybe the strongest ingredient of our identity in Him in the coming days.
Lord, fill us to overflowing with Your grace.