Did you know that Grace not only means undo favor from God but it also means elegance, poise and refinement of movement? Have you seen me wear heels, do Turbo Kick at the gym or worse, accept a compliment? I’m a mess about it all!
When I say I need grace, I need grace in every possible way!
The hardest part about grace for me is accepting it, especially from the people I love. It’s hard to do. Grace requires humility, both in giving and receiving. It requires us to let go. It requires the absence of perfection. It shows vulnerability. Grace takes practice.
Many years ago when we were living paycheck to paycheck, we received a medical bill in the mail. Now this is one of those bills that when you open it you instantly panic and sweat and wonder, short of selling some organs, how it’s going to get paid. This paralyzed me. I buried my head in the sand and the bill kept getting bigger, as did my anxiety and hope that a distant relative was going to die and gift us thousands of dollars. I didn’t tell my husband about it, the one who brings home the money, whose credit is on the line, who puts his family first- yes, him! I didn’t want to tell my husband because I didn’t want him to stress, I didn’t want him to get angry (rightfully so) and I was also afraid of disappointing him.
It finally got to the point I had to tell him because no matter how much I worked at it, I couldn’t fix this problem myself. I was sick to my stomach, I couldn’t sleep and I was terrified. What were we going to do and how are we going to take care of it? We had dreams and plans to purchase a home as soon as possible. If I had done something sooner, things would probably be different and a bit easier to take care of. This medical bill was going to put us back years and I was convinced it was going to put an irreparable wedge in our marriage, and really, it was my fault. I was scared but I had to tell him.
He listened and he saw and then he looked me in the eyes and said, “Wow, you’ve been burdened with this by yourself for this long? Honey, I’ll take care of this. God has always provided.” What, that’s it? No pit of despair or shackles to hang from? What he gave me was an extraordinary but quiet love coated with humility and grace. It amazed me as much as it made me uncomfortable.
And his grace didn’t stop there… This problem did hold us back from buying a home sooner and his credit was on the line yet he took the lion share of the weight and he never mentioned it again! That my friend, is a picture of Grace.
From that day forward I realized how impactful and how powerful Grace is! I could have fought him on his response and demanded some form of punishment that made me feel like I was getting what I deserved. My pity party would’ve diminished God’s power through my husband. And that’s what I needed to understand, accepting Grace is accepting the work of Jesus. Grace is an unconditional gift comes without strings or shackles or I-told-you-so’s. It’s free!
God wants us to live free from these shackles, these blinders that keep us from living our full life. He wants us to let go of our idea of perfection and to except who we are because he loves us exactly that way, unpaid medical bills and all! And he does this by offering us grace all the time! I’m working daily to live in His freedom of grace.
It’s an unconditional gift that requires nothing of you. Let his grace transform you.
Erica Manthe is a wife and mom of four. She has been attending Grace Chapel for about six months. She is learning to accept grace with a little more elegance and poise because she has had lots of practice.