For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2: 8-9
When laying in bed is your full time gig for two weeks, you learn real fast the uncomfortability and beauty of grace. By definition grace is unfair. unjustified. undeserving. People showed up with meals, with cards, with flowers, with prayers and words that cheered my soul, but at times I felt guilty. Was a mere thank you really enough?
What had I done to deserve the countless homemade meals that people sacrificed time and money to bring me?
To pay for the food, to cook the food, to package the food, to put the food in the car, to drive down the super dark and unlit street of mine, searching for my house with a broken porch light, to knock on my door that I cannot answer, to set up a meal in my possibly clean kitchen (depending on if my mom had been there that day), to encourage me, to pray for me? What had I done to deserve this?
I fell. I was clumsy and fell down a few steps and ended up with a fractured back. Did my clumsiness justify meals that on my best day I could never emulate? Did the fact that I was broken warrant my husband and I not having to worry about dinner every night for two weeks?
It doesn’t make sense. People gifting me, clumsy ol’ me, their time and sacrifice to look after me, to check in on me, to pray with me and for me. It isn’t fair. My misstep (literally) should not equal people giving more of themselves to me. It shouldn’t.
So much like the Good News of Jesus Christ, it isn’t about ME. It’s about HIS grace, HIS love, HIS sacrifice. That far outweighs my fallen nature, my sin, my missteps. If I linger on the guilt of how unfair it is, if I stay there in the pit of self-pity, I am missing out on the joy that He has freely offered me.
There is an "uncomfortability" with grace, because it not by our own works or accomplishments it is offered to us. He didn’t save us for the A’s on our report card, because in the school of life mankind failed. We didn’t even come close, some didn’t even try, others studied hard and still failed to attain perfection. Despites our failures, He offered us a way to graduate. He would take on our massive “F” and flunk out in our place. While in exchange He would give us robes of righteousness to enter into a new school full of new creations. It’s not fair, but it is beautiful.
So how do we respond?
- Believe that grace, that gift--that unfair, undeserving gift--is being offered to you.
- Humbly and thankfully take it.
- Thank Him every day.
- Never grow tired of gratitude, He never will.
- And leave the guilt at the cross.
- Then like the verse says, go and do good works, which God prepared in advance for you to do
Give your time, your money, your delicious meals to those, who have done nothing to deserve it, to the broken, to the weary, to the failures, to the outcasts, to the fallen. Do good. Not to make up for your failures, the cross took care of that already; but instead, to give others a glimpse of the grace that Christ offers them as well. You just never know how your meal, your resources, your sacrifice will affect someone for eternity… They just may even write a blog about it :)
So to all who took care of me and granted me grace these past two weeks:
You gave me much more than a full fridge and heart. You gave me a renewed sense of gratitude for the immeasurable grace that Christ has given me.