Monday, January 23, 2012

Receiving What We Don't Deserve

There is a sign hanging on my wall that says Grace is when God gives us what we don’t deserve. If that is true, then everything in my life is simply by grace.

So last week, as I sat down to pour out the messiness of my life before Christ—and more so the messiness of it with Christ—I began to see that even my mess is simply by grace. I deserve death. But instead I am just messy. Grace.

I listen and watch, as a mom full of wisdom and steadfastness counsels me in my mess. It is not over the depth of the pit I am wrestling within, but rather the grace of God found at the bottom that causes a steady stream of tears to flow down her cheeks. As she weeps over the weightiness of this very word in her own life, the sweetness overflows. This moment is etched inside forever.   

A week later, I watch this very same mom mourn the loss of a child. There is nothing that makes sense about such tragedy, and yet at the bottom of the pit all I can hear are her cries of His grace in her life. I watch closely as she holds onto a hope in something she does not deserve, something lavished upon her in spite of it all. I check in to see how her family is doing—we are holding onto grace, are their exact words.

I could understand clinging to anger…bitterness…confusion…fear…doubt, but grace? Clinging to what they have been given that they do not deserve when it seems something so very precious has been taken (unjustly at that). Did they deserve to go endure such loss? No, certainly not. A God who loves deeply would not permit such pain? And yet—it happened.

Grace. Getting something we do not deserve. None of us deserve to lose a loved one—we deserve to lose our own lives, but we don’t. Grace. Oh He is good, not in spite of the pit but BECAUSE of the pit. We deserve so much worse then the deepest, darkest pit we have ever known. I see grace in the pit…in the grief…in the fire.  

Ironically, this happens to be the very first verse of scripture that I fell in love with when I first became a believer. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. [2 Corinthians 12:8-9]

I am learning to be content in the sufficiency of His grace, especially in my weakness—not just in the blessings He provides, but in the pit and in the fire. For it is ONLY by such grace I even have the ability to be standing there [in the flaming pit] in the first place. The pit…the grief….the fire…[the weakness we all try to mask]; they really do point back to one thing, crippling us to the point of dependency simply to rise—oh, Lord teach me to boast in Your Grace made loud through my weakness. [That your power might rest upon me.]  

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