Thursday, September 27, 2012
Remember that good 'ol saying, "It's better to give than to receive."
Yeah, that one.
Except, when it comes to grace, it's kind of like a vicious cycle. You have to receive it from the Lord to be able to understand giving it. And you need every bit of holy spirit help to give it. But when you give it, it reminds you how much it means for someone else to have to give even more grace to you.
It's better to give and receive.
A few situations this week have reminded me so much of the peace that grace brings...
On more than one occasion we have made plans with people and they've bailed last minute. Your flesh so badly wants to think the worst - to assume they don't care or value your time - but the gospel just overcame me in that very moment to say, "It's completely fine. We understand." And it was genuine. Because, folks, we do understand. In that moment, I thought of how much we have going on and how we want to make time for everyone and sometimes we have to call things off for our sanity. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm all about learning how to say no up front and making sure we stick to our word. But we are human...and our God is so gracious. And that very fact about him allows us to be gracious, too. Because we have Jesus.
Grace is sweet. In those small moments, it changes the whole game. It feels so good to give it your brothers and sisters, and to pray that they will want to genuinely give it back to you.
I'm in the grocery store and run into one of my friends. She's talking to me about serious stuff. My mind is just not there. I'm distracted by the people talking all around. No encouragement is coming to mind. My mind is coming up with all logical answers that would sound like I was being sarcastic. I had nothing. And she could tell, said something quick and walked away.
Man, in the past (like a week ago, and I'm sure it will come up again) I would have worried myself crazy about that instance. I would have text her right afterward and apologized my heart out. I would have scrounged for every bit of encouragement and taken extreme, unnecessary measures to make sure she knew I was sorry and I cared. This time, I enjoyed the rest of my shopping trip.
All those things we pep-talk ourselves with..the "I'm just human. I made a mistake. I'll rest in grace and just let her know that it was an off day," that stuff was actually in my spirit and not just my head. I didn't just think it; I lived it.
Since then, I have talked to her. We're close friends, so she knows that I truly care and lift her up to the Lord. And one day doesn't change that truth.
Grace is like a refreshing drink of water. Okay, that sounds so cliche. I could backspace..hmmm...nah.
I pray I can actually enjoy grace more often. Not just talk about all of it's benefits, but live in them.
Can I get an amen?
I swear I'll amen to myself and the Lord if I have to.
E & A,