Grace. Amazing Grace.
As I look back over the past year and reflect on all that occurred internally and externally, I am amazed at where God has brought me. The things I’ve learned, and his gentle, loving grace even when I’ve messed up!
As I meditate on the word Grace, especially for the coming year, I know I have been shown so much grace and now I am encouraged to extend grace to others and myself.
“Freely you have received, freely give.” Matthew 10:8b AMP
Instead of holding tightly to my time, energy, possessions, and emotions, I must open my hands and hold these things loosely. To allow God to heal me and change me. But also to allow these things to flow through me and bless others.
“Therefore let us [with privilege] approach the throne of grace [that is, the throne of God’s gracious favour] with confidence and without fear, so that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find [His amazing] grace to help in time of need [an appropriate blessing, coming just at the right moment].” Hebrews 4:16 AMP
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines grace as unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or sanctification; a virtue coming from God; a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine assistance.
But it also means approval, favour, disposition, an act or instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency. And the quality or state of being considerate or thoughtful.
Oh, how lovely to have the gift of divine grace bestowed on me that I can then share with others through kindness and consideration!
A common theme in recent social media is that everyone is going through something difficult, so ‘just be kind’. Easy to say, harder to do. But if I’ve been shown kindness, then it is only right and just to ‘pay it forward’ and show kindness to others.
Close your eyes and imagine water flowing from above, over your head, shoulders, and through your hands. Overflowing your grasp and drenching everything around you. Take a deep breath and relax into that peace. That is how I imagine being drenched in grace.
But what about being kind to ourselves? I know I am guilty of sometimes berating myself and talking in a way to myself that I never would to others! How we speak to ourselves is also very important, and we need to allow ourselves grace and consideration. After all, we aren’t perfect either and shouldn’t set unattainable expectations on our shoulders any more than we would on someone else.
This year I pray to hold loosely to all that I have and all that I am, allowing God to use me and my talents to bless others and honour the gift of grace that I’ve been given. As I have been shown grace and mercy, may I in turn extend grace and mercy, not just to others but to myself.
What are you holding onto today? Join me in opening up your hands, releasing your grasp, and offering up your worries, fears, and tears to a loving God who will gently love you and wash over you with mercy and grace as you trust him today.
We don’t have to do life on our own. We don’t have to do it all. We don’t have to be perfect. We just need to rest in the divine grace offered freely and share it freely with others.
Fortunately, God’s not done yet, I’m still a work in progress!
I am so thankful for Grace. His amazing grace.