I have really been thinking about grace this week and what it means.
Because I had a friend come back suddenly into my life.
After almost a year of silence and distance.
And I struggle with how to respond – if at all.
Ignore the reach?
Make a snarky comment (or two) and walk away?
Or have a conversation?
And if you have the conversation, how far to go?
And my head says “be brutal and be honest” – and basically show no mercy.
Lay the cards of truth on the table and let the chips fall as they may.
But my heart says “give as you have received” – from God.
God is generous. God is forgiving. God is merciful.
And the battle rages.
Just as Jacob wrestled God for a blessing, I too wrestle with God.
And as my mind battles my heart, I think about grace.
And I wonder … Does grace have boundaries?
Does grace give an automatic out?
With no apology or acknowledgement?
Does grace sweep everything under the rug?
With no conversation?
Does grace ignore all that has been wrong?
With no recompense?
Or is grace more than this?
And I think … Surely grace has to be more than this.
Because don’t we find grace at our lowest point or hardest time?
At the place of difficulty?
At the place of offense?
At the place of indecision?
At the place of doubt?
And I know grace is always waiting for us.
Where our options are limited or our movements are restricted.
Where our questions can easily overshadow our faith.
Where we want to shove the “truth” down someone’s throat.
Where we want to keep our words uncensored and unchecked.
Where our will outweighs the truth of love.
Where we want to fuss and fight to be right.
Where we are not overcome by hope or filled with peace.
Where our circumstances seem too big to handle.
Where our prayers seem too insignificant to be heard.
Where we are led by our thoughts instead of our heart.
Where our emotions are loud and demanding and out of control.
Where our obstacle looks bigger than anything (or Anyone) else.
Where our challenge seems insurmountable.
Because in any of these circumstances, we come to a place where we need help.
Where we are beyond our human abilities.
Where we are powerless to move or think or do.
Where we are desperate for hope.
And what do we find?
Just at the place we need it most.
Just at the time we need it most.
More abundant than we ever imagine.
More powerful than we ever expect.
More merciful than we ever deserve.
And so the battle within me continues to rage.
I am not in that place (yet) where grace abounds.
I am still walking through the valley.
Where it is grace versus guardedness. Grace versus grumbling. Grace versus grudges.
Where grace is good enough for me but not good enough to share.
So far, the battles continue.
Grace has won at least one victory so far.
But it has also lost at least one as well.
I am pretty confident grace will eventually triumph over grudges.
Because God is good.
Because God is walking with me as I consider the extent of grace.
And God is able to break through every emotion, every wall, and every hard-hearted area currently holding me back. From unleashing a wave of grace that will surprise even me!
Marie Fremin. 12/30-12/31/16