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Filled With Grace

It was a day where all you saw grace everywhere.

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Ann Voskamp, the author and speaker I claim as my mentor (though she has no idea I exist), has a phrase that she speaks often. All is Grace. Its like a motto to her. And it has become one to me.

 

All is grace.

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How can the truth be said any more potent in this messy, beautiful world? Every day testifies to this truth in new and profound ways. There’s grace in that divorce story. There is grace in that family facing death and transition and mental illness. There’s grace for that nervous bride brimming over with excitement and yet unsure of what she’s getting into. There’s grace for that Christian leader that stumbled. There’s grace for that young mother facing complications in pregnancy. There’s grace for the retiring professor cleaning out his office. There’s grace for the mom of an eight-year-old boy with a big heart and a short life expectancy. There’s grace for this young couple learning to trust for daily bread in a time of transition and trying to put all these pieces together and live with grace for the dozens of stories they encounter each day.

 

It’s a big word. Grace. It is loaded. Dripping with potency and depth. And I think half the time we treat it like a sugar dusting to cover up the messy cake underneath, when really it is our lifestream.

 

If all is grace then why is the only time we seem to make reference to it is in the moments of struggle. As if we suddenly need that extra dusting of grace when circumstances take a twist towards the harder path.

 

If it really was all grace I think we would see it painted in the sky as we looked Eastward to the rising sun. And not just an extraordinarily spectacular sunrise but the sunrise that happens each day. There’s grace in that normal sunrise that casts light into that little kitchen with scrambled eggs on the stove and a bedheaded couple getting ready for another day of normal work. We would profess grace in the daily grind, in the ordinary moments, and in the simple and overlooked.

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We would shout grace in the beauty. In the sparkly rings, in the hearts of faithful workers, in blue dragon flies, in the sights and smells and sounds of delight.

 

Small graces. Large graces.

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Grace when things are hard. Grace when things are delightful. Grace always. And grace when we want to be holy.

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age. -Titus 2:12

It is here that I see the drops of blood falling unnoticed from the battered body of Christ. I see it flowing into broken hearts to bring hope. I see it pouring into hearts that long to see all things good and beautiful. But where are the hands stretched out, grasping for grace as they traverse towards sanctification? Why do we prevent grace from reaching the full measure of Christ’s outstretched hands as they are nailed to that cross? Why is not all grace on the days we’re working harder to be loving? To persevere? To muster up self-control? To refrain from ungodly speech? To be faithful in spiritual disciplines?

 

We have grace, therefore it’s ok when we don’t get the holiness thing. Right?

 

Or, rather is it, we have grace, therefore we can be holy.

 

Or, even better, is it both? Isn’t it all grace in our failures and in our path towards righteousness?

 

Christ’s grace is all encompassing. It is for the aching heart. It is for the sojourner with burdens, and the disciple with questions. It is for the supreme beauty, for peace of heart and a soul of delight. But it must not be cut short and relied on only in sad circumstances and happy moments. If grace is truly the foundation of our faith we must let it hold our entire life. Including the furthering of our daily journey towards holiness. Christ came to comfort and heal. Christ came to grant joy and fill with peace. Christ came to teach and sanctify. Christ came not only to cover us in grace, he came to fill us with grace.

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All is grace.

 

 

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