I have to admit that that writing the second part of this series was more challenging than the first, if only because of a feeling of inadequacy (and rightly so) at capturing the magnitude- and beauty- of God’s grace in words. I think it’s important to communicate the reality of grace, but also the sense of it, the way it feels to the soul. Thankfully, I recently came across a quote in the book Beautiful Things Happen When a Woman Trusts God that I think helps convey this. Sheila Walsh shares in her book, “…Jesus didn’t come to get you out of the pain of life; he has come to live in you through it.” This reminded me of one great differentiation that must be made about grace.
Grace is restorative, it is rescuing, but not in the cleanly way we might picture it. Grace is God living alongside us, even in the messy parts of life. He does not always pull us out of the mess. Not right away. But He pulls us through it.
Life hurts, and more often than not, we do the hurting. We give in to temptations and break under pressure, we follow the the wrong desires, and in the process allow worldly wounds to fester in our hearts. Every living thing emerges into a world diseased and wounded by sin- and (with the exception of Christ) becomes quickly infected by the same. Without grace, we are all the walking wounded, and the story ends there. But it doesn’t. Or, it doesn’t have to.
Instead, we have the opportunity for grace freely bestowed by God if we are open to receiving it.
Contrary to popular opinion, there is nothing about grace that is easy. If it were, where would be the thrill of it? There is nothing meaningful or thrilling in the idea of a rescue without some fight to obtain it.
Instead, the truth about grace is that it is sticky, bloody, and saturated in Christ’s faithfulness in a just death in place of your own. Justice and mercy working hand-in-hand as they must would be frightening if we were the ones that had to pay the debt for our sin. Yet the rescue of grace is not only that Christ took our place but that He overcame the horrors of death itself. He willingly fights for our rescue, and it costs him everything. What bigger demonstration do we need of his love? What bigger proof do we need of his willingness to rescue us?
I don’t know your story. What I do know is that it only takes one drop of poison to kill, and with every sin we’re swimming in it. Yet against all odds, there is a cure. The cure is Christ. The cure is grace.
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