Musings #8

I once heard a proverbial story of a small boy who was consistently late coming home from school. His parents warned him one day that he must be home on time that afternoon, but nevertheless, he arrived later than ever. His mother met him at the door and said nothing. His father met him in the living room and said nothing.

At dinner that night, the boy looked at his plate. There was a slice of bread and a glass of water. He looked at his father’s full plate and then at his father, but his father remained silent. The boy was crushed. The father waited for the full impact to sink in, then quietly took the boy’s plate and placed it in front of himself. He took his own plate of meat and potatoes, put it in front of the boy, and smiled at his son. When that boy grew up, he said, “All my life I’ve known what God is like by what my father did that night.” Our sin is serious business. God’s grace is a costly gift.

That’s what the grace of God looks like. Grace is God’s gracious willingness to take away from us the plight we deserve and give us what only he can give. He gives us forgiveness not because of what we do but despite what we do, and because he is a God who loves his creation. His loving grace reaches out to us even when we are ignoring him. The tough question we must ask ourselves is – do we have any idea why?

He gives us grace because we are his creation. God created you and me for himself. He put us in a special place where we could be his constant companions. We chose our own company rather than his, and he has been doing many things to bring us back to himself. He created us and he wants us to fulfill our purpose. His grace builds a bridge.

He gives us grace because he has the power to redeem. We cannot save ourselves even amid having all kinds of resources at our disposal. We cannot work, educate, or give up enough to gain communion with God. That communion only comes about because he reaches down to us with an offer we should not refuse. His race redeems.

He gives us grace because we need it. Humans in all their ways can never approach God in his own power. We are mortal with the limitations that mortality brings. We are flawed and don’t always recognize our flaws. We try but always fail. Think about it.

  • We forgive, but not completely.
  • We love, but not completely.
  • We serve, but not completely.
  • We accept Christ, but not completely.
  • We live the Christian lifestyle but not completely.
  • We commit our lives to God, but not completely.

Grace completes us.

I thank God for the grace that he gives me because without God’s grace I am a hopeless case. When I was in seminary the old preachers (of which I am now one) had a saying. It is as true today as it was then.


For grace is given not because we have done good works, but in order that we may be able to do them.

~~~Saint Augustine of Hippo

By and large, the gospel of grace is neither proclaimed, understood, nor lived.

~~~ Brennan Manning

Courage is grace under pressure.

~~~Ernest Hemingway

Beauty without grace is the hook without the bait.

~~~Ralph Waldo Emerson

My trust in God flows out of the experience of his loving me, day in and day out, whether the day is stormy or fair, whether I’m sick or in good health, whether I’m in a state of grace or disgrace. He comes to me where I live and loves me as I am.

~~~Brennan Manning

I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief… For a time I rest in the grace of the world and am free.

~~~Wendell Berry

Man is born broken. He lives by mending. The grace of God is glue.

~~~Eugene O’Neill

The ideal man bears the accidents of life with dignity and grace, making the best of circumstances.


Above all the grace and the gifts that Christ gives to his beloved is that of overcoming self.

~~~Francis of Assisi

The will of God will not take you where the grace of God cannot keep you.


A high station in life is earned by the gallantry with which appalling experiences are survived with grace.

~~~Tennessee Williams

I do not understand the mystery of grace — only that it meets us where we are and does not leave us where it found us.

~~~ Ann Lamott

But grace can be the experience of a second wind, when even though what you want is clarity and resolution, what you get is stamina and poignancy and the strength to hang on.

~~~Anne Lamott

Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

~~~Hebrews 4:16

The Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you;

the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

~~~Numbers 6:24-26

But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace, you have been saved.

~~~Ephesians 2:4-5

And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you.

~~~1 Peter 5:10

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly,

~~~Titus 2:11-12

who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace. This grace was given to us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,

~~~2 Timothy 1:9

For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

~~~Romans 6:14

since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,

~~~Romans 3:23-24

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— not the result of works, so that no one may boast.

~~~Ephesians 2:8-9

No longer present your members to sin as instruments of wickedness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and present your members to God as instruments of righteousness.

~~~Romans 6:13

He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.’ So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

~~~2 Corinthians 12:9

Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.

   Lord, hear my voice!

Let your ears be attentive

   to the voice of my supplications!

~~~Psalm 130:1-2

But God raised him up, having freed him from death, because it was impossible for him to be held in its power.

~~~Acts 2:24

LORD, Grace is a complicated word because it means so many things. We mess about with its meaning so much that we forget the truth of grace. In truth, grace is your love for us and your willingness to bestow that love upon us even though we are most undeserving. That’s what makes it grace, and grace gets us where we cannot go on our own. Thank you for your loving and unmerited grace.