Happy November & Happy “5-Minute Friday” with Lisa Jo Baker!! (Or, rather, in my case, “5-Minute Very Early Saturday Morning”…)
And, today, our word is GRACE because we all need some.
Grace. Amazing Grace.
“Amazing Grace” was my grandmother’s favorite hymn. On the last Sunday night of the month, the choir director at our little church would take requests. My grandmother was a shy, soft-spoken lady and hardly ever said anything, so my grandfather would request “Amazing Grace” for her.
“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me;
I once was lost but now am found.”
My sister and I used to stay at my grandparents’ house during the summer. And we always knew when we were getting a little too rambunctious for our grandmother. She’d retreat to the kitchen, and we’d be suitably chastened as she stood at the sink in front of the window and sang in her quiet, wavery voice.
“T’was Grace that taught
My heart to fear,
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.”
“Amazing Grace” is a song that I will always associate with my grandparents. When my grandfather passed away, my aunt arranged for a bagpipe player to play “Amazing Grace” at the burial site. On that chilly January afternoon, the sun was shining brightly, and the air was crisp, winter fresh. As we crested the hill, the bagpipes began to play.
“Through many dangers, toils and snares,
we have already come.
T’was Grace that brought us safe thus far,
and Grace will lead us home.”
Singing about the Grace that saves us is easy. And comforting like a sweet balm for our souls. We once were sinners, and, now, we’re saved by Grace. Our chains are gone, and we’ve been freed. Hallelujah!
And our voices lift up, and we sing and sing and sing of our Saving Grace.
“When we’ve been here ten thousand years,
bright shining as the sun.
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise,
then when we’ve first begun.”
But there’s another kind of Grace too.
“But He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness…” (II Corinthians 12:9)
Sufficient Grace… Just as amazing, but, many times, so much harder to accept.
He says His grace is sufficient. His strength is perfected in weakness.
But, sometimes, I’m too scared to let go and let His grace be my sufficient and let His strength cover my weakness.
I don’t want to be insufficient. I don’t want to be weak.
And I don’t want to need that kind of grace. I’m afraid of needing that kind of grace.
If I’m insufficient, I’m not enough. Being weak means I’m not strong enough.
And, sometimes, as hard as it is trying to stay strong and be enough, admitting I’m not and letting go is even harder. And, even after I come to that end of the rope place, there’s a part of me that still wants to hang on, afraid of letting go, afraid of falling.
Letting go of being in control. Letting go of being fine. Letting go of perfect. Letting go and falling.
But His Grace whispers in my heart, “Let go. Let Me.”
Like a welcome breeze on a hot day, a quiet whisper in a crowd of voices, the lighthouse in the storm, Grace is there… to rescue, to be enough.
Trust His Grace.
And I’m learning to trust… to let go and fall into Grace. Because, if Hope is the thing that flies, Grace is the thing that carries. Grace holds and enfolds me.
Grace carries me to the cross, and Grace will catch me when I fall. Hallelujah!
I can’t, but He can. I really can’t, and He really can.
I am weak, but He is strong. I am never enough, but His grace is always sufficient.
And, perhaps, on those days when my sister and I got a little too rowdy and my grandmother sang in her kitchen, she knew it too. While she was singing about His Saving Grace, she was relying too on His Sufficient Grace.
Lost and found in His Saving, Sufficient Grace.
His Amazing Grace.