I have had a particularly clumsy week. First, I stubbed my toe so hard that it swelled up, changed colors and made it painful to wear shoes. Then I burned a finger and my arm on a searing, hot waffle iron. Next, in the short distance from my car to the front door of my house, I fell down and scraped my knee significantly enough that there was blood and ripped clothing. Finally, after bending over trying to reach something in the back of our bottom cupboard, I banged my head as I straightened up. All of this happened from Sunday to Wednesday within a span of four days. On the bright side, there has been definite improvement as yesterday came and went without me inflicting any injury upon myself. And today? So far, so good.
I’ve had my share of less-than-graceful, often embarrassing moments in life. Like when I was fourteen and broke my foot on a water slide… or the time when dressed in a white dance costume, I fell into a hole, twisting my ankle and covering myself in dirt and grass stains. All of this, of course, BEFORE I was supposed to get on stage and perform. Obviously, that didn’t happen. Then there was the time when I went bike riding downhill without brakes. In my defense, I was told that if I “pumped the brakes” they would work just fine. FALSE. I discovered the complete lack of brakes as I rapidly gained speed on the downhill descent. In an attempt to slow down, and therefore preserve my life, I dragged my foot on the ground resulting in a quick, up-close-and-personal, introduction to the pavement. I still have scars.
I’m usually not this klutzy. Really, I’m not. I’m actually quite adept at walking, talking and chewing gum, all at the same time. But this week was a doozy! As I pondered it all, I thought, “I could use some more grace.” The grace I had in mind, simply put, is ease of movement. Then I thought some more about that statement: “I could use some more grace.” And I thought about the grace of God. Merriam-Webster defines God’s grace as “unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration (spiritual renewal, revival) or sanctification (setting apart for sacred purpose, holiness, freedom from sin).” I definitely could use some more of this! In fact, I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t have an ongoing need for God’s grace.
An amazing and wonderful thing about the grace of God, is that it’s a free gift available to anybody who will accept it. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:16-17). God’s grace isn’t something that we can earn by doing all of the right things; and we certainly don’t deserve it. Even so, He freely offers it because He loves us so much. “Because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved… 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 2:4-5, 8-9)
If we desire to grow in our relationship with God, we need to remain dependent upon Him. We will never outgrow our need for His loving guidance and assistance in our lives. It’s important that we remain in a place of humility, where we recognize our ongoing need for God’s grace. “‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:5b-7) He cares for us! That’s great news! No matter what we’re going through, or what trials we may face, we have a Savior who knows how we feel. Even better than that, He promises to help us when we come to Him in need. “We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:15-16)
I’m so thankful for God’s active, saving grace that continues to come to my aid when I call out to Him for help. I’ve personally experienced this repeatedly, time and time again. May I never take it – or Him – for granted.