For most of my childhood, my mother wrestled with drug addiction. I even remember periods when my sister and I would be alone for days. There were times when I knew we were in harm’s way but I am grateful for the gracious protection of God. Eventually, our grandparents took us in and raised us until adulthood while my mother wrestled her demons. One day, she finally checked into a treatment facility. During that time, my family was tired of the back and forth so they would not go to see her. So, as a teen, I would drive myself to visit her. Years later, my mom told me that she would have given up a long time ago had it not been for our consistent love for her. This presented my first lesson on grace.
From that moment on, I have always had the burden of extending the olive branch. I would often find myself being in the position of apologizing and making peace especially in situations where I had done nothing wrong. I never understood why. Grace has been an instrumental part of my life even though I’ve wrestled with always having to be the initiator. In fact, I almost became resentful because I could not understand why I had to always to be the fixer after being wronged. There was a season in which I became very careful in my connections and reclusive. My heart was heavy and I submerged myself in prayer. I needed clarity and God spoke so clearly to me. He told me that the He has always tried to develop a deep capacity for forgiveness and grace in me because the path He has me on demands it. Most importantly, I was in need of both and that was reason enough. That has really stuck with me. Although I am still navigating through that part of my life and trying to picture what it looks like, I am hopeful because I know that God will finish what He started in me.
However, the Father not only calls for us to be conduits of His grace but also partakers. Sometimes, we struggle with the idea that such a loving God would graciously give us so much due to our sinful natures. Instead, this is the very reason why we should quickly grasp the concept of grace. We need to realize the need for it and that we can’t possibly live without it. We need God’s grace. We need His mercy. We need His love. We need His forgiveness. There is no way we can freely give anything we can’t accept ourselves.
We have to know that God gives us the grace to live and love. He gives us the grace to get it all figured out. Furthermore, He even gives us the grace to navigate life’s questions. He does not give up on us. He is patient and long-suffering. Through the ordeal with my mother, I learned the importance of these attributes firsthand.
Friends, we have an obligation to extend the same to others. There are times when life will require us to. We will have to follow His example. The Father calls us to look through the eyes of grace to see the condition of our own hearts and the hearts of others. When we do, grace empowers us to walk in love as Jesus did.
Be Graciously Blessed,