Consumed by this idea of Grace....do you get it?
Hello Sweet Friends, For the past few months, God has been rewiring me with this theme of Grace. I'm sure you can tell from my blog:) Consumed by this idea of Grace in a way that I have never before known, I’m trying to wrap my mind around how I have missed it for so long. Admittedly, I'm even a little ashamed that I have not in the past freely given it.
Have you truly pondered Grace….. The Grace to put the sins of the world upon a cross so that we could be free! The Grace to leave the 99 and come for us when we are that one who has wondered. The Grace to extend open arms when we have spent our inheritance in wasteful ways and found ourselves in a pit, and then throw a feast, when He could have easily said no more room! The Grace to put His treasure in us just jars of clay, and make our lives something beautiful. Grace astounds me!
We have been with Grace much like our children who have been given so freely things of this world that they receive them without appreciation or realization of any sacrifice to offer such gift. We expect it and receive it almost with entitlement instead of in awe of the love of God that would call Him to extend to us such unmerited favor.
I have heard Grace defined as the absolute free expression of loving kindness. Oh, I love that! The absolute free expression of loving kindness........
We certainly desire to receive Grace. We need it and couldn’t live without it, but why is it so hard to extend? You could spend a few minutes on facebook or twitter, and see exactly this I speak with little evidence of free expression of loving kindness, but rather words of bitterness and anger and words that seek to destroy and break down, and so often, from those who claim to emulate Christ. That is the heart of a Christian to be Christ-like, right?
I don’t recall Jesus casting stones, but rather picking them up and offering the one who hasn’t sinned to cast the first, but none to be found??? Who are we not to extend Grace?
I think we seek too often to cast stones instead of looking to understand the root. I have found through these last few years of ministering that there is always a root. A few months back, my life collided with a homeless man. I have to admit that I began to question how a man could get to this place? How do you have nothing? With all of these lingering questions, he then complains of the place we finally find for him to live. Can I be honest and say it unnerved me? He didn’t want to go? He would rather roam the streets? He was on the streets walking and hungry and he would complain that we found him a roof and hot meals? But the truth is that I didn’t understand the root and certainly couldn’t see it. You see, the last four years of his life were spent with intimate friends like Jack and Jim, after finding no way to deal with a car accident taking his daughter and resulting depression taking his wife. Yes, he desperately needed Jesus, but can you understand why he allowed the good ol’ boys Jack and Jim to step in to his life instead? So, no he didn’t want to be there, he wanted his life back and his joy back and his precious angels back. And how many times have you passed a person on the road, and felt a judgmental thought come forward like I did that day. I am a woman with three babies that need me, so I don’t usually pick up people from the street, but that day I knew I was sent to help this man. God saw through the alcohol that hid his pain and loved him still, and sent me to get him. He uses us sometimes to bring back the one........
This one event began to shake my core about how God sees us, and how differently it can be from the way we see others. I found the words of Isaiah 41….
His understanding we can not fathom.
There are people that are hurting over loss, and people that are overwhelmed with more than a fair share of responsibilities and demands, and some have been violated by people they even trust, and others have been abandoned and abused. And the truth is that we don’t know the root, but He does. And He says….my understanding you can not fathom. I’m certainly not saying to go live as you please, but perhaps the most Christ like thing we can do is seek His eyes so that we can see past the brown bag or exposed skin to see the soul of one crying out for Jesus.Could we too understand? Or perhaps you today are that one who needs to experience Grace for yourself, and hold tight to His truth….
He understands, but He loves us to much to leave us that way, so He brings us home and even throws a feast! We too should celebrate the lost coming home, not cast stones that keep them living in a pit.