Friday, April 20, 2007
This article is my submission to the blog challenge sponsered by the devotional blog team "Laced With Grace".
The challenge states, "Since our faith is based on grace, this challenge is to write a post answering this question,'How do you share the grace you receive from God on a day-to-day basis?"
I was shocked to discover, not too long ago, during a Bible Study, that I had somehow over the years limited my definition of grace to "unmerited favor". While I know that definition to be true, I had allowed myself to focus only on that facet of grace. I was forgetting that grace is also given to me to do those things I am incapable of doing in my own strength.
The first facet of grace is illustrated so beautifully in Ephesians 2:8; "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;" The second facet is found in II Corinthians 12:9; "And He has said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you; for power is perfected in weakness.' Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me."
I find I need this "dual power" of grace in my day-to-day living. As I minister to my family, I do so freely - not because of anything they have done to earn it, but because I love them. There are times when that requires me to do things I feel I just don't have the strength or wisdom to handle. That is where the second part comes in. I go to Him to ask for help, and He gives me just what I need. In my weakness He comes with grace, and I am able to do the very thing I thought impossible.
I think about this often. My children are all grown now, with children of their own. I see God's grace in their lives with such clarity. I made so many mistakes as a mother. I can still agonize over them. Yet God, with great mercy and grace, has somehow taken my feeble efforts and done something I didn't deserve. My children don't hold my mistakes against me. We have a loving, strong relationship. When people ask me how we raised such wonderful children, my answer is always - "It is the grace of God you see in their lives." His unmerited favor. He has given me so much more than I could ever deserve.
We have faced some difficult health problems in the past couple of years. I have come face-to-face with my worst nightmare. It is something I thought I would never be able to bear. I felt buried beneath the weight of it. But God..... He came with a grace I cannot fathom and somehow made it bearable. Where I thought there would never be joy again - joy has come. When I thought I would never find a place of peace and rest - the peace that passes understanding slowly pervaded my spirit. When I felt crushed beneath the weight, I felt His arms of love drawing me close. Yes, His grace is sufficient. He has given me the strength to do the things I need to do.
"Amazing Grace" has come to be such a common expression these days. When we step back and truly get just a glimpse of the grace of God - then we realize how truly amazing it is.