The Gift of Grace and Sisterhood.
Today is March 18, 2013. Today brings back memories of this same date in 2006. The last day I saw my sister Katie in person, the last embrace I enjoyed in her arms. The last heart-to-heart conversation we had together.
She talked to me about GRACE.
She was a nineteen-year-old, and I was twelve. A twelve-year-old with MUCH to experience, and MUCH to learn in the next seven years. For some reason, Katie felt led by the Holy Spirit to talk to me about God's grace on that morning of March 18th. As we lay down next to each other in the hotel bed (she wearing her sheep pajama pants), with her head propped up by one arm, she looked straight into my eyes. As she met my eyes, she was reaching my soul.
She asked me, "What do you know about God's grace?"
I, being a good JBQer (with a meet later that day) stated, "Well, Ephesians 2:8-10. We don't work to achieve God's grace."
She wanted to reach deeper.
She probed, "Exactly. We DON'T need to work for it. God has already given us His grace to satisfy us in our weakest moments. We DON'T need to work for it."
My mind understood what she was saying but did not yet comprehend what she was talking about.
Honestly, it wasn't until just this year that I've begun to grasp what God's grace means for me. I knew that God's grace had saved me from sin and the death that I deserve (which is mind blowing in itself!), but I could not grasp no matter how hard I tried that God's grace was sufficient for me EVERYDAY. And I think the answer to my problem lay in my effort. MY effort. MY achievements. MY understanding. Up until this year, I have had the mentality that I need to work to achieve God's grace. Even though I have heard over and over again that God's grace is sufficient for me, I have not been reflecting this truth by the way that I have been living.
So that made me think, Am I REALLY living like God's grace is sufficient for me? For, if God's power is made perfect in my weakness so that He can have the glory, why do I try to work to cover up my weaknesses before God, when He promises to be strong in those weaknesses? He promises that He will receive the glory by using us, mere broken vessels, for His Kingdom.
His GRACE is MORE than enough.
And this is something I just have to rest in. But it's hard to rest when all my life, I've been trying to work to understand. Yet, grace is incomprehensible. WHY would God send His only Son to die for our sins? WHY would He cover our sins to make us blameless before God? WHY would He choose to give us strength for each day, especially when we are so fragile and frequently fail? It's His GRACE!
I know Katie's heart wanted me to comprehend God's grace. I know her heart longed for me to be freed from a legalistic mentality, a primarily achievement-driven Christianity. I know she wanted me to rest against the chest of a Savior who granted me His love and grace beyond my understanding.
And now, at nineteen years of age, my eyes are being opened to the exact message she shared with me on that hotel bed seven years ago today--when she was the same age I am at this very moment. And what a growing sense of sisterhood I feel when I ponder that I am growing in my relationship with God in similar ways that she was experiencing during her nineteenth year.
Her prayers for me are being answered daily as I ask God to help me receive His grace, and as I give Him my weaknesses so that His power can be displayed through them.
Thank you, Katie, for your prayers and your beautiful love.
Glory to God!
Glory to God!