“Jesus keeps us off balance. We think we know that perfection is a fastball of justice, and he throws us the curveball of grace.” – David Mathis, “Rethinking Perfection” Desiring God blog post, 21 Jan 2010 11:30 PM PST
As I entered my first year of college, I really wanted to have a prayer focus throughout my time there. My youth pastor’s wife shared with us one time that she had one particular prayer throughout her college experience, and as she watched the Lord answer her again and again in so many ways, her relationship with the Lord grew leaps and bounds. This stuck with me. So, I wanted the same – for me.
I decided that the Lord was calling me to pray to learn to be a gracious woman. I am sure – without a doubt, certain – that not many people from high school and my youth group would have considered me a gracious person. I am very black and white, hard headed, and strong willed. These fleshy characteristics rarely translate into graciousness.
As I prayed this prayer – that the Lord would make me a gracious woman – I prayed that He would show me what exactly graciousness looked like. Images of someone bending over backwards and acting extra hospitably came to my mind but I knew that the Lord wanted to teach me more.
The Lord, who gives us more than we could every ask for, imagine, or think, sure did answer me again and again throughout my time in college. Instead of teaching me how to behave – how to hold my tongue or see someone else’s view point in a matter (instead of doggedly holding to mine even if I was wrong), the Lord taught me Himself. He showed me the picture of grace in creation, in the cross, and in the days to come.
Philippians 2 reads
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
What a Savior!!!! Grace, Grace, God’s grace – Grace that is greater than all our sins!