Monday, November 8, 2010

"Grace" Challenged

"Grace is what I crave most when my guilt is exposed. The very thing I am hesitant to extend when confronted with the guilt of others - especially when their guilt has robbed me of something I consider valuable. When we are on the receiving end, grace is refreshing. When it is required of us, it is often disturbing. But when correctly applied, it seems to solve just about everything." 
-Andy Stanley [The Grace of God]

When confronted with unexpected moments that seem to seize my emotions without warning, I become fully aware - after the moment has waned - of my inability to dispense grace with the same intensity which I cry out for.

Just the other night I inadvertently followed some links and threads to a twitter account that I haven't read in many months. A recent tweet on this page brought my emotions speeding back to a time when I was so burdened over an offer and all that it meant. Anger over what had changed because of a decision that was out my hands boiled over in me. I realized - in that moment - that more had been lost than I had realized or imagined. Maybe lost isn't the right word. Seized without forethought may actually describe it more accurately. I was angry over 'territory' that no longer belonged to us, and I allowed that emotion to spill out to my husband. (not AT my husband, but TO my husband)

Now, two days after the initial assault on my emotions, I am pleading with God to help me see through grace-filled eyes what I cannot come close to surrendering to in my humanity. This was our piece of provision and it still hurts to know that because of circumstances that - again - were out my control, I am placed in a position of choosing. And I'm stomping my feet like a two-year old as I state, "But, that isn't fair!"

And then I read on the (invisible) sign posted on the (invisible) wall in front me, "Does the person you choose not to forgive walk around with the burden of you not forgiving them? Or do you? Just the same ... does the person you choose not to extend grace to walk around with the burden of you being placed in a situation where grace will need to be extended? Or do you?"

I can read it intellectually with understanding, and yet I still say, "But, that isn't fair!"

This is one of those blogs where the end is obviously not the end. It's just a story in progress...

"But He gives us more and more grace (power of the Holy spirit, to meet this evil tendency and all others fully). That is why He says, God sets Himself against the proud and haughty, but gives grace [continually] to the lowly (those who are humble enough to receive it)." James 4:6

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