12/8 Complete and Utter Grace
Silence and Stillness before God (2 minutes)
This hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.
Written by Eric Cebrat
I would like to tell you all about an experience I had in elementary school that helped explain to me what God’s Grace is like.
One day the teacher called out sick and we got a substitute. And with substitutes comes busy work. We had to do some weird type of word search where you look for the same word over and over and it could be spelled diagonal and backwards. The assignment was completed when all the words are linked together in a pattern.
Word searches are my kryptonite on a regular day. This one was just beyond me. I kept circling the wrong group of letters and then had to erase. But erasing only works so many times. If you try and erase too much you are left with this gray smudge of failure reminding you of all the times you wrote something wrong. It never looks like it did when you started. And if you keep on erasing you get this weird crinkle hole in the middle of your paper. So now you feel completely defeated because not only do you not know the answer but your paper is full of smudges and it is not a complete piece of paper anymore.
I broke down and cried and that was really unusual for me even as a kid. The substitute asked me what was wrong and I showed her my paper.
Before I tell you what her reaction was let me start with what she didn’t say.
She didn’t react negatively and say “Stop your crying and get back to work”
She didn’t react apathetically and say “Just keep trying until you get it”
She didn’t even react educationally and say “Let me show you how you could do better”
What she did was amazing. She told me it was no big deal, smoothed my paper out and did the assignment for me. In perfect teacher pen she quickly made the pattern and gave the paper back to me. She then told the class that Eric had the right answers on his paper and if they were stuck and needed a hint that they could come see me.
It was just so completely above and beyond anything I could have ever dared expect. I was unable to do my assignment, ruined my paper, broke down, handed my paper to my teacher who did the work for me and then used me as a teaching tool for the rest of the class.
And that is what I think of when I think of Grace. When we have completely messed everything up and are unable to help ourselves, God comes down and helps us out. God gives us help when we are completely unable to help ourselves.
Lord and Savior, how much we need you. We are so often completely unable, but You offer hope and salvation that will not disappoint us.
Conclude with Stillness (2 minutes)
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