“The meaning of life. The wasted years of life. The poor choices of life. God answers the mess of life with one word: ‘grace.'”Max Lucado
Have you made poor choices in life? Would you describe your life or part of your life as a mess?
I can definitely answer yes to both of these questions. I really like this quote by Max Lucado. It’s packed with so much truth.
Life truly is messy, no matter how we slice and dice it. Most of us have made bad choices and have been disobedient to God in some part of our journey. The beauty of our faith is that when we make the wrong turn, stray from the path, God somehow manages to create an intersection and place us back on the path. Not only does He put us on the right path but He offers us GRACE.
So what is GRACE?
Grace: “the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.”Internet definition
What is the first word that stands out to you? For me, it’s “free”. Grace is freely given by God. It’s not something we have to work to gain. We don’t earn it. We don’t deserve it.
The second part of the definition unpacks what is freely given by God – His blessing, His love through the salvation of Christ on the cross. Every poor choice, every wrong turn, every SIN we make He responds in mercy and compassion, offering forgiveness.
In my earlier years of life, the relationship I had with God looked like a tyrant and his subject. If I failed to be obedient, made the wrong choice, God didn’t love me and disciplined me. Not a lot of grace in that relationship!
Over the last few years, I’ve learned a lot about grace through my journey in some very tough moments. Accepting grace is a very powerful release of freedom. God not only offered me forgiveness, but He offered me the tender love of His refuge. He redirected my path and let me know that He will always do so when I stray. He won’t leave me or forsake me for my choices. He will always embrace me. If I am willing to open my eyes and learn, He will teach me through my short comings and my wrong turns. Through this realization and acceptance, my life transformed and the seed God planted in me grew.
The other day, I had the opportunity to teach my youngest daughter about grace. I was on a call for work. My daughter zooms in the study on her hoverboard, picks up a worksheet from the printer and zooms out. Within seconds, I hear a crash, glass shattering as it hit the floor. I didn’t need to look to see what had just happened. I knew exactly what caused the crash and what laid in fragmented glass on my floor. A little upset, I ended my call and cleaned up the mess. As I entered the living room, where my daughter was, she was on the floor in a little ball with her head between her knees crying. It broke my heart. In that instance, I knew she was sorry with all her heart. I sat on the floor next to her, embraced her and explained to her that it was an object that can be replaced. I also took the opportunity to talk about mistakes and bad choices. I pointed out that she shouldn’t ride the hoverboard in the house, not a wise choice, and we all make mistakes that we learn from. In an effort to cheer her up, I shared some funny mistakes I made when I was married to her dad. Definitely lightened the atmosphere and relaxed her little ball into a little girl who was loved and forgiven.
This moment, I pray taught her how God responds to us when we make a poor choice or are disobedient. I want my daughters to learn who God truly is, not a tyrant, but a Father that offers GRACE through His love and mercy. I want them to learn the lessons God offers when we do veer off the journey, He placed us on.
Our past messes are forgiven, our present is learning from those messes and our future is taking action on what we learned. I invite you to open your heart to receiving God’s grace in all your messes in life. Let Him embrace you with His love and mercy. No SIN is too great for His GRACE.