The next eleven months can be more than a new year on the calendar. It can be the year we experience the grace of God in new and exciting ways. How are you doing so far? Are you alert to the gift or missing out on the excitement? Here’s what happens when I’m not as alert as I should be.
Several years ago, my husband and I were visiting his brother in the Antelope Valley just north of Los Angeles. An earthquake occurred in the middle of the night — or so I’m told. I was the only one who slept through it. Thankfully, everyone was unharmed but they were astonished by the quake’s sensation.
The next morning, family members talked about feeling tremors. They said it only lasted a few moments but the event was unmistakable. I couldn’t recall or relate to anything they described. I could, however, see pictures tilted on the wall and what looked like saw dust settled along a window sill.
I later learned the epicenter was dozens of miles away from our location. However, with a reading of 7.4 on the Richter scale, clearly, a significant event had occurred. And yet, in the midst of a sound sleep, I failed to experience it.
I wonder what caused me to miss out on all the excitement. Fatigue or an adventurous dream may have dismissed the disruption. Perhaps, the guest room mattress caused me to snuggle deeper into satisfaction. There are many possibilities.
But this is not the only time I’ve missed the significant. I’ve had similar encounters with God’s grace. It shakes our existence in a myriad of ways. He offers forgiveness for our sin, hope in our despair, His plans for our dreams, clarity for our confusion and strength in our weakness.
Sometimes it’s easier to see how grace has amazingly rearranged the lives of other people. Yet this reckoning force of God’s love can seem cloaked when we’re facing disappointment and frustration.
The enemy of our soul despises God’s grace and he wants us to sleep right through it. He uses feelings of unworthiness or a lack of faith to lull us into a grace denial state. However, spiritual slumber doesn’t negate grace events; it just causes us to miss out on all the excitement.
But God wants us fully alert to His grace realities. Faith in Him is like caffeine in the soul. It makes it hard for us to sleep through the moment of grace impact.
“So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son.” – Ephesians 1:6
When we place faith in Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we belong to Him. And if we belong to Christ, the grace of God belongs to us. It is poured over our lives and stored up in our souls. The stresses of life are no match for a soul awakened by the grace of God. In the midst of our flaws and excuses, grace gives us power and permission to live the life God intends.
To help us build on the excitement, here’s some good news: when we awaken to God’s grace the pictures on the wall of our lives look different. They are framed with Christ’s redemption and filled with His glory. When questions or doubts try to shake us up, grace is the divine disruption. It gives us a wake-up call to trust in the Lord and receive hope for the heart and joy to the soul.
“May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord.” – 2 Peter 1:2 NLT