Years ago I told ladies at a retreat that I wanted to be a grace-full woman. That woman who opens her mouth in wisdom. The one whose reactions (those things we can’t prepare for) are a reflection of Him. In the time that has elapsed since then, God has put opportunities before me which have required grace far beyond my abilities. I’ve wanted to push them away…and then I realized.
Gospel grace extends far beyond the moment of our salvation. That grace should begin to clothe everything about us from that day on. We cannot become women of grace until it becomes habitual for us to acknowledge that we don’t have it within ourselves. True, biblical grace is an outside-of-me thing. A deliberate, I-want-it thing. I can’t start being a grace-full woman until it is my knee-jerk reaction in these circumstances to go to Him first, and immediately. I must learn this habit.
I knew what I said I wanted was a good thing…something God would never deny. He heard me. He’s bringing it to pass, but not in the form of a gift wrapped up nicely with a pretty bow. I can’t just pop this out of a box and pull it over my head. He’s teaching me that this is something I invest in and acclimate myself to. His Holy Spirit has to teach me this.
God’s grace is higher than my ways. It is a whole new way of thinking…first, about what it means between me and Him, and then how it should affect my thinking, my words, my actions and reactions. It doesn’t just happen. This grows. Growth hurts. It stretches us. It humbles us and sometimes it hobbles us until healing takes place.
All this to say, we need to ask big things of God…but we also need to allow Him to accomplish them in the way He sees best. My path to grace will probably not look like yours. I can’t compare. Simply press on, knowing He will ever be at my side, never leaving or forsaking me.
I tell our kids often that God always keeps His promises, never wastes time, and is always purposeful. Here is part of the Potter’s purpose in wanting to knead grace into my life:
Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. 2 Cor. 1:3,4
Yes, I got what I asked for. God is working His grace into me. The way He chose, the journey required…that was not what I wanted. But I want it more now.