Grace and Forgiveness.
Such sweet words, and unfortunately, often overlooked by me until something brings them back to my attention.
It was the Saturday before Easter. You know, it’s the weekend that we intentionally set aside to celebrate grace and forgiveness. I hate it but last year I was a last minute kind-of-girl. The Saturday before, I was running around getting last minute details taken care of for the holiday. Yep, you know the ones I’m talking about. We had to get shoes and dresses, candy and a few items for kid’s church too. I still had to get the groceries and candy as well.
We didn’t make it that far because the alternator in our truck was FRIED. The battery was as dead as it can get. When I saw the battery light come on and the gauge getting lower and lower, I called it a day. LOL! I got to the nearest auto parts store to have them check the alternator and sure enough, it was useless by that point. I turned off all of the accessories, rolled the windows down and had just enough battery life to get me to my driveway. To tell you how drained it was, I didn’t have enough power to even roll my windows back up. I mean it was a close one. I was almost stranded on the side of the road in the 1/2 mile from the store to my driveway.
I had just barely made it. Oh, the frustration! I certainly didn’t need the extra expense coming out of my checking account, but the timing of it was so ridiculous! I had too much to do! I didn’t have time for this, not that I ever do. Of course, it finally lead me to asking God, “What is the plan here? I’ve got nothing.”
Did you notice what happened? I had too much planned in my day, my car died, I got frustrated, I went to God. Sometimes the purpose is in the struggle.
He reminded me ever so gently, in Psalm 46:10, He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Oh yeah. Where is my focus? What is my focus on?
Not on Him.
Not on the sacrifice He made for me.
The Friday before Easter Sunday is Good Friday. It is (symbolically) the day Jesus died on the cross for the world and payed the ultimate price of sin. As a mom, I can’t imagine what Mary, His mother, was experiencing in that dark moment as she watched her son in such torment. Even knowing how the story ends, my heart aches for her in that moment.
I can’t help but be overwhelmed by how much God loves us all. I have to stop and think that if He loves me that much, to give His only son as a sacrifice for the sin of the world, then how much He wants me to have a fulfilling life. Not rainbows and butterflies? Not necessarily financially with an overflowing bank account.
I’m thinking about grace, peace and contentment, though. Knowing that He loves me, and knowing that there is nothing that will ever come against me that He can’t handle. Not even my not-so-awesome choices. I’m not saying that if I had planned my day better, I wouldn’t have a dead alternator right now. Not at all.
It’s About My Response.
I’m saying that I would have likely had a different response though. Struggles are going to come in the most unlikely times. What am I going to do about it when it happens?
More importantly, what am I going to do about it BEFORE it happens?
In all of this, I can’t help but think about grace and forgiveness.
Am I carrying unforgiveness and resentments inside of me? Are they stopping me from living out the fulfilling life that He wants me to have? If I am willing to seek Him, and take hold of the forgiveness He has offered to me, then how can I NOT acknowledge that His grace and forgiveness also covers the sin of others too, even when people have hurt me?
In Exodus 14:14 it says, “The Lord will fight for you. You need only to be still.”
I have to understand that the blood of Jesus covered the sin of EVERYONE, and it’s not up to me to make others pay for the hurt I have. That FREE GIFT is open to anyone that wants it. My resentment holds me back, not anyone else.
Just a little something to ponder …
How are you celebrating His sacrifice, grace, and forgiveness this upcoming holiday?
What about everyday?
Take a moment and ask Him to reveal to you if you are allowing anger or resentment to live inside of you. Ask him to open your heart up to seek Him first, and put Him first in all things. Ask for forgiveness and pray a blessing over others daily.
Celebrate grace and forgiveness! Don’t let the sin of someone else stop you from living out the plan God has destined you for.
Life is way too short for that.