Grace by the Teaspoon

by tylernielsen

Remember the occasions when Mom and Dad would caution you to “take the high road”? They’d send an eyebrow raise and jaw clench your way that was supposed to remind you to be the “bigger person”…

More often than not, situations arise that call for grace. Not the kind of grace that I lack when I walk – I have none of that – but the kind that affords freedom and revolution.

In her book Captivating (which I highly recommend), Staci Eldridge writes, “A woman of true beauty is a woman who in the depths of her soul is at rest, trusting God because she has come to know Him to be worthy of her trust. She exudes a sense of calm, a sense of rest, and invites those around her to rest as well … A woman of true beauty offers others the grace to be and the room to become.”

Beyond the idea of beauty (let’s face it…we focus on beauty too much), is this idea that grace makes room for the future. Jesus Christ paved the way of salvation when He died on the cross. What is our role, then, when we only seem to have grace for the moment?

In the past six months, God has been painstakingly teaching me about grace. Frederick Buechner once wrote (in a seeming a paraphrase for Ephesians 2:8-9) that, “Love functions according to its nature, not according to the quality of its object.” I have discovered – through my inability to earn grace – just how precious it is. As I look upon myself and my failures and see how unworthy I am, I see why it’s important to afford others the grace that’s been given me.

Because even though I want to feel rested at the end of a weekend, I don’t. I worked all weekend, fourth one straight. And even though I had some time over the weekend, I didn’t finish what I told myself I must. So here it is, Monday morning, and I’m typing out homework that’s due in half an hour; and when I finish, I’ll begin what’s due at 10:30. The list truly feels never ending. Yesterday? Yesterday I failed to be the person I expect myself to be. I fell short of the expectations of others. This morning? My blood sugar’s are high, for what seems like no reason. And it feels like a no-win battle, one that will surely be lifelong.

But my precious-as-gold mother graced me with kind words. My roommates graced me with patience and forgiveness. My Lord graced me with understanding, redemption, and the promise that, he will never leave me nor forsake me. No, indeed He saved me because He delights in me. {Hebrews 13:6, Psalm 18:9}