There’s these yellow daffodils growing by my neighbors front porch, and next to them pink tulips. I pass them every time I leave my house, I see them every time I come home. Perfectly shaped blooms, vibrant in color, detailed in design. I’ve watched them unfold – one petal at a time – these past few weeks. I held my breath during the last storm, afraid they wouldn’t bear the weight of the heavy snow. They held up strong though and continue to light my coming and going with their intricate beauty.
I have a coffee maker with an alarm. Each night I fill the basket with ground beans and pour water into the reservoir. I wake up to the smell of coffee, that glorious smell that makes me stop in the coffee aisle at the grocery store and inhale. I begin each morning with the delicious warmth sliding down my throat into my belly. I like the wake up call it gives me, sure. It’s nice to get energized by a little caffeine kick – especially on the sleepy mornings. But mostly I love the taste of coffee on my tongue, and the ritual of pouring myself a cup at the start of each day.
Playing piano is part of my job. For a few hundred dollars here and there I am hired to sit down at this beautiful instrument, place my fingers on the keys, and let music come forth. I speak the language that is written on the sheet music handed me. I understand fluently each symbol and sign on those lines and spaces. I am capable of bringing music out of these strings and hammers and keys. And I even get paid for it. The music sweeps me into a place of ease and of mindfulness at the same time. With every note I am more aware of beauty and less burdened by sorrows.
How can you believe in a good God who lets such evil into this world? It is a question that is thrown up against Christians every day. How could a loving and kind God allow such hurt and devastation?
That is not my question. I have faced my share of tragedies and heartbreaks. I have seen the news. I hear of the disasters and brokenness. It is reality in this fallen world.
But the question that stays with me throughout these days is how can it be possible that an all powerful, all knowing, all encompassing God takes the time to stoop into our daily world and plant flowers and coffee beans with no other purpose than to add beauty to our life? How could it be that the God who can command oceans to part and mountains to fall holds out undeserved gifts with no other purpose than to delight our souls?
Grace upon grace. Those are the words that John uses to describe what we have received out of the fullness God. The grace of salvation, yes. We no longer fear death, we are no longer condemned. We are redeemed. But heaped on top of that, every day grace. The grace in laughter, in hand holding, in good movies and excellent literature. The grace in fluffy white clouds and in soft green grass. The grace that greets us holding out to us flowers and coffee. The grace that streams forth from an instrument.
How is it that we don’t believe in a good God when we receive grace upon grace?
Mondays seem to bring out the complaining side of the world. Another day to get through, another set of responsibilities, another morning with bleary eyes and another five days to wait until a break.
But here on this Monday, and tomorrow on Tuesday, and every day of our lives until we draw our last breath, our loving God is heaping grace upon our days. Through the simplest and most ordinary of moments we are receiving grace upon grace.