4 In Spiritual Growth/ Today You Are Here

Today You Are Here: Grace

The fingers of my nine-year-old student move carefully from note to note. G C E C E. Put your thumb there. Third finger there. That’s it. Try once more. G C E C E. Good. Play that again. A few more times until you feel completely comfortable with it. Until your fingers know exactly where to go. Until you know it by heart. G C E C E. Great! Let’s add one more part. D C A G. Now string those sections together. He fumbles and starts over. Try singing it out loud, I tell him. Then your words can match the notes.

Amazing Grace. How sweet the sound.

Good. That is all you need to do this week. Practice those two lines over and over again until they are second nature. Until you are confident about each of those notes.


We play it a few more times together. I sing as he plays. Amazing grace. How sweet the sound. Over and over. Again and again. We won’t move on today. He needs more time with the notes. I need more time with the truth the words proclaim. Again and again. Let me remember the sweetness of grace. Let me celebrate the sound of it, so amazing.

The boy at my piano is not the only student. I am one too. I am learning, oh so slowly, the unforced rhythms of grace. I stumble and trip over the words, I land on a sour note, I use the wrong fingers. I snap, I overreact, I blame, and then I lecture myself. You know better, you can do better. Why are you still struggling with the same things? Why can’t you pull your act together and perform? And Christ draws me in, gently, tenderly, and tells me to play it again. Remember how it goes. Return to grace, try again, bask in its warmth and relish its sweetness.

I want to prove myself capable and worthy. I want to show off my strength, my accomplishments, my ability to live this life well. And inevitably, time after time, I fail. I fall short and I fall hard.

I crawl back to the throne, defeated and worn, and he teaches me the notes of the song, he reminds me how amazing grace goes. Go over it again. One more time. Make sure you know it in your heart, don’t just read it. Let it penetrate your soul.

I move slowly. Unhurried. Confident only in my teacher. Note by note, moment by moment. I play the wrong thing, he guides me back. I say the right words but the timing is wrong. He sings it to me and tells me to play it back. Day by day we walk together. Arduously I learn. Slowly I understand. It becomes my life.

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound.

{This is a part of my Today You Are Here series. Join me over here for the 31 days of October as we practice being present together. Or enter your email address below to have updates sent directly to your inbox!}

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  • Reply
    October 4, 2016 at 8:14 pm

    Perfectly put and a welcome reminder that God picks us up and dusts us off each and every time we fall… He never gets tired or frustrated with us, even when we lose patience with ourselves! Truly, amazing grace

  • Reply
    October 5, 2016 at 3:20 am

    Slowly I understand, until it becomes my life. That’s the key to it all, isn’t it? If it hasn’t become our life, we haven’t really learned it. Great post with a great truth! God bless.

  • Reply
    amanda bixler
    October 5, 2016 at 7:39 am

    Oh how I love this – it’s so easy to get wrapped up in the hustle, in the busyness, in doing the “right thing”. And yet something I am slowly learning is that my self-worth and identity is not tied to how productive I am or how many things I can cram into my schedule – it is simple depending on the God who created me and calls me redeemed! What a beautiful reminder – love your writing.

    – Amanda | amandabixler.com

  • Reply
    October 5, 2016 at 8:49 am

    Beautiful. Thank you for another inspiring, encouraging and thought provoking post.

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