Grace Unraveled

Ever have one of those weeks where you feel like perhaps you should have just called in sick and pulled the blanket back over your head for a few days?  The week where everything seems to go wrong, and the one nerve you have left is starting to fray and you can feel it shorting out?

  • The days you’re easily upset by well-meaning people who’s actions were meant to help but ended up creating more work for you to do?…
  • When you lose your temper and have to apologize to someone who was just trying to do their job and didn’t deserve the brunt of your unnecessary anger?…
  • When you suddenly realize you are irrationally upset because someone whom you know really cares about you had to change their plans due to unforeseen circumstances and the visit just isn’t going to work out?…
  • When the sound of someone’s voice or just the look on their face sets you over the edge and the only thing that helps you maintain your sanity is thoughts of an unkind nature that bubble up in your mind but cannot not be spoken out loud?

I imagine, like myself, that many of you are reading this and cringing because these stories are not just mine, they are your’s, too.

Because there are so many times my actions and my behavior do not reflect the grace of Jesus that I profess to know.

And that’s what so AMAZING about GRACE.

That even when I fall flat on my face and I fail to love others like Jesus …When my good example has fallen short and my selfish nature is revealed…When I just can’t take it anymore and that one nerve I have left is fraying and I’m not sure how much longer I can hold on, God speaks this promise to me through His Word:

2 Corinthians 12:9

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

I cannot begin to tell you how overwhelmed my heart is by this verse.  That God still loves me in-spite-of my weaknesses and my failures, in-spite-of my bad temper and selfish desires, and in-spite-of my stubborn spirit that just wants my life plan to work out my way….

Yes, in-spite-of all these weaknesses, His GRACE is enough.  Because when Jesus died on the cross, He didn’t give me a list of tasks or criteria I needed to meet before His grace would be given to me; No – instead he said “It is finished” and gave His life in place of mine to take the punishment for my sin, MY mistakes.  And in that sacrifice, His grace is sufficient for me, and for you, too, if we choose to accept it.     And when I call out to the Father and confess my weaknesses, when my heart and mind are overwhelmed and I cry out for mercy because the burdens I am carrying are just too much for me to bear, that is when His power is made perfect in me and I can hear Jesus saying “Come to me and rest, dear one.  I’ve got this.”

So tonight I’m going to rest in the promise that the grace of Jesus is all I need; But tomorrow, oh yes!  I’m going to throw back those covers and face the day with renewed Hope – because even when my last nerve is fraying and I feel like life is falling apart, I know that I’ve got the power of Christ in and working through me in all situations – and that, my friends, is more than enough.

***God laid this hymn on my heart today and I just knew I had to share it with you.  Whether you speak the words or sing the tune, won’t you join me in praising God for his sufficient grace, too?

 Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

By Robert Robinson, Adapted by E. Margaret Clarkson

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace.
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above;
Praise His name, I’m fixed upon it,
Name of God’s redeeming love.

Hitherto Thy love has blest me,
Thou hast bro’t me to this place.
And I know Thy hand will bring me
Safely home by Thy good grace.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God.
He to rescue me from danger,
Bought me with His precious blood.

O to grace how great a debtor,
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love.
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

Hymns of Faith #28, Published 1980.

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