What is Grace?



Grace upon grace.

Grace upon grace upon grace.

I was first introduced to the idea of grace at 17. It wasn’t a word I heard a whole lot of growing up. It was a term that I simply just ignored and dismissed for most of my life. I guess the idea of grace was more of an idea, than a reality. When I was 17, though, I had a bible teacher who radically challenged my thinking. After that, grace started to become a more tangible substance. I started to feel like the foundation of my relationship with Christ was shifting. I began to understand that without the transforming power of God’s gracious grace in my every day life, I couldn’t begin to surrender my life in pure trust or believe I was ever meeting the standards of a Holy, perfect God.

But that’s where we’re totally deceived. We believe that we need to measure up and work hard meeting these qualifications (that exist mainly because of our own self accusations) instead of actually choosing to accept that we are indeed called and chosen. This, by no means, dismisses that we are called to give all our best efforts to The Lord (Col. 3:23, Prov. 16:3) but why are we trying so hard to cover our inadequacies when somebody already died for those imperfections?

Because of my small minded thinking compared to God’s infinite deliverance, I probably couldn’t even recall a handful of the moments in which he has chosen to show me grace. Even just last week, I was telling a dear friend about all the things my heart was anxious about and inadequacies I felt before coming to Haiti. She reminded me of God’s grace. A simple, yet essential piece of the Gospel. Without it, we’re already defeated before we even put on our armor.

Friends, grace is a mystery. One in which I will never be able to solve. It is everything I’m not, but everything I desire to be. Grace meets you exactly where you are, but does not allow you to stay there. No man is too sinful to be covered by Grace and no righteous man is sustained without it. Far too often, I tend to believe that grace is available for “those sinners” or “those who are really struggling” but I have failed to see again and again that I am that sinner. I am indeed the one who is struggling. We all are. Grace doesn’t exist solely for the weak. Most of my life has been spent ignoring the complimentary grace Jesus graciously chooses to show me. Because of my lack of understanding of this gift, it has been nearly impossible to live in the freedom of grace. But see – Jesus has allowed me to graciously fail so that I would ultimately come to the harsh realization that I am lost without it. Knowing that grace exists, allows us to live freely with The Holy Spirit. It means that daily we acknowledge that we are in need of His grace and we are insufficient without it. This should never lead us into the temptation to sin, but instead, it should give us the desire for the exact opposite (Romans 6:1-2). We already died to sin, so now we need to let glory manifest. Since we receive this unmerited grace, we should exist to solely bring God glory. And when we fall short, His grace covers that. All of it. No exceptions. Grace covers it.

Daily, Jesus is showing me grace in the most beautiful things. I see grace in the promise that my brother is unashamed to speak of his respect for Jesus even if He doesn’t agree with the ways of the church. I see grace in the eyes of our children in Haiti. I see grace in the single mother who chooses to devote the majority of her young life to raising three kids and working two jobs. I see grace in my parents because of their consistency in delivering grace even when I am undeserving. I see grace in the Spirit filled relationships and also those without talk of God. I see grace in the sunshine as I do when it rains. I see grace in the beautiful lush green forest as well as in the dirt roads. I believe that grace exists everywhere, for all people. We need to stop believing that grace is only for the weak. Grace is for everyone. Everyone needs it and no one is exempt from its vast greatness.

Grace upon Grace upon Grace.
Every. Single. Day.

– Jackie