Sometimes we forget what’s important, and sometimes we fail to realize the importance of what we know. Sometimes, we know and yet we fail to live out what we know, and there are times when we fail to understand things we experience every day. Such is the case with grace. Grace is simply this, undeserved merit, being loved and forgiven when we aren’t deserving or worthy of either one.
Grace cannot be earned! Being good, following rules, doesn’t get it. The only thing that gets grace is the willingness to receive it. For so many including myself that’s the hard part. That’s the struggle.
I struggle with a lot of things, and I’ve often felt guilty over the fact that I struggle, and yet it’s often in the act of struggling that we learn the value of what it is we want and what we have.
It’s also how we learn to recognize what it is, and what it isn’t.
Grace is free for the taking, but it isn’t cheap…and when you have it, you have no choice but to give it away.
The Bible says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him, and he shall direct your paths” (Pro 3:5-6 NKJV). But what if your path leads through pain, pressure, and problems? John the Baptist’s did. He didn’t deserve imprisonment. After all, he was the forerunner of Christ and the voice of God in the community. Plus, he was Jesus’ cousin. So he sent Jesus a message asking, “Are you really the Messiah, or should we keep looking?” Paraphrased: “Lord, if I’m in your will, how come I’m in this situation?” It’s a question motivated by unfulfilled expectations. We think, “Lord, I’ve obeyed you, how come things aren’t working out for me?” And it feels worse when you’ve faithfully served Him. Writing about her daughter’s death, Meg Woodson says, “I’ll never forget those shrill, piercing screams, that the God who could have helped, looked down on this young woman who was devoted to Him…and decided to sit on His hands and let her death top the horror charts.” Talk about unmet expectations! Jesus could have saved John, but He didn’t. Instead He sent back word: “Don’t worry, everything’s on target, the kingdom is being built. You did your job well” (See Mt 11:4-5). It probably wasn’t the answer John hoped for. He was looking for solutions to temporal problems while Jesus was busy establishing an eternal kingdom. So next time God doesn’t seem to meet your expectations, it’s not that He doesn’t care; it’s that He sees the big picture and He’s handling issues you can’t even begin to comprehend. So trust Him!