Making an Impact with Grace
As I rode in a hospital elevator a few weeks ago, a man asked, “How are they doing?” In an attempt to clear the confusion, I said, “Excuse me. How is who doing?” He said, “… the person you are visiting here in the hospital?” Still somewhat puzzled and now thinking about the visit with my dad, I said, “Oh, he is doing better. Hopefully, he’ll be discharged in another day or so.”
I sensed grace was giving me the go ahead. I asked, “How is the person you’re visiting?” The man said, “My friend is not doing well. It doesn’t look good.” I told him I would pray for his friend. He said, “That would be wonderful. He really needs it. His name is Jim.”
As we exited the elevator, he thanked me again and we wished each other well. I pondered why Jim’s friend sought out my help that day. But my wondering ended at what has become a familiar stop for me — the sovereignty of God.
I know He welcomes our prayers. However, prayer doesn’t inform God about a situation. It is to involve us in the working of His will. (Matthew 6:7-13) Positive impact moments occur when we rise to a God-given occasion with a grace-given response.
The opportunity to make that kind of impact doesn’t just come in public or preferred ways. Very often, our private encounters set the stage for our greatest influence to appear. By God’s grace we can help someone in a crisis, soften a hardened heart, or simply make their day.
I hope I responded well in those moments with the stranger. So now here’s a moment between you and me. How are “they” doing? I’m referring to the people in and around your life. Is there some occasion with your name on it? Perhaps like my initial reaction on the elevator, you’re confused or in conflict about your connection to a task or to a person. And yet, you might be one conversation, one friendly favor, or one prayer away from making maximum impact too.
As Jim’s caring friend alerted me to Jim’s illness, he said, “It doesn’t look good.” Sometimes I’m tempted to look the other way when a situation doesn’t look good. When the simple becomes complicated or a productive pace slows down, I may consider making an impact of a different kind. But I’ve learned, making the maximum impact with grace happens as I consider how I’ve been impacted by grace. (see 2 Corinthians 12:9)
So for positive impact makers, here’s some good news: the grace we have in Christ is a game changer. We may face situations that seem unfair, look impossible, or feel uncomfortable. But as we yield to God’s desires He takes care of our burden. The impact of His grace is immeasurable. There’s a divine ripple effect that gives hope to the heart and joy to the soul.
“God can pour on the blessings in astonishing ways so that you’re ready for anything and everything, more than just ready to do what needs to be done.”– 2 Corinthians 9:8 MSG