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A fun, random, delightful sort of a place where you can bring your coffee or earl grey and settle in for a laugh, a cry or some much needed encouragement...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Beauty of Grace

Have you ever been hard on yourself? Ha! I heard that laugh out loud! It happens to the best of us... frozen pizza uncooked because you forgot to take the card board off, pasta all over the kitchen floor because you missed the strainer, hurt hubby because you bit his head off without even thinking twice, lonely friend because you haven't called in weeks, screwed up on an email at work that was to the President of some company and now you just remembered it's your mother-in-law's Birthday tomorrow and you haven't a clue what to get her, let alone has it been shipped. The next thing you know you are sulking. It's the biggest, ugliest pity party since you don't know when and mascara is streaking down your rosey cheeks and the pillow is covered in tears. All you can think is, "Why can't I do anything right?!?" You ponder and ponder your many faults, "too vast to count the sum of them".

Has this ever been you or am I really as odd as my husband thinks I am? Well, one of my many rollercoaster valleys consists of just that and I have come to the conclusion that I must get to the bottom of it so I can rise above it!

My current memory verse is Ephesians 2:4-5, "But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus."

Wow! Ok, before we get too excited here, we need to look at the entire context. I don't believe Paul was talking about our uncooked pizzas but rather our ugly, wretched sin and nature of wrath. Some of the items I listed above are indeed obvious sin (biting my hubby's head off), the other items may be a result of a more hidden sin that shows it's face but doesn't usually reveal it's name...Pride. Yuck! I never wanted to admit that I had pride. Ok, let me phrase that a little better, my pride didn't want me to admit that I had pride. Every time you think of having a pity party you might as well call it a "prideful pity party". They can be the most self-focused parties ever thrown. Now, having said that, let's get back to the good news!

If we are saved, then there is abundant good news in those verses. Paul speaks of our wretchedness and then says two very key words..."But God". Those words change everything and lay the foundation for the next part. Being rich in mercy, because of His great love for us, God made us alive and raised us together to sit together with Christ Jesus! All of this because by GRACE we have been saved.

I pray, Father, that the next time I think of throwing a "prideful pity party" that I will remember this verse, remember your mercy and your grace, repent from my sin and by Your strength return to Your fellowship and the blessings you have given me such as a seat with Christ Jesus in the Heavenly places!

I pray that I will also remember this verse when someone else in my life needs grace. When my husband is cranky or hurts my feelings or forgets to do something, or when my friend doesn't handle a situation well. I want to give them grace like you have given me grace.

The beauty of grace is that it is a gift to us from God, not because we deserve it (lands sake there is no way!), but because He is rich in mercy and has a great love for us.