by Susie Crosby
noun: mercy, pardon, approval; special favor
Cry for help and you’ll find it’s grace and more grace. Isaiah 30:19 MSG
Grace is a hard concept for me. I need it so desperately. This undeserved favor, this washing away of my mistakes and failures, this loving welcome into the open arms of Jesus. This generous gift of God–pure and simple and free–is supposed to be anything but hard to receive, yet I can struggle with it.
I try to earn it. I try to understand it. I try to explain it. I ask why? Why does God give me this unconditional love when I don’t deserve it? And how? How can He possibly see me as innocent and clean despite my stains of selfishness and failure?
God teaches me over and over that I get his grace because of WHO HE IS…
-not because of anything I do or don’t do
-not because of how loving or how critical my heart has felt
-not because of how well or how poorly I perform
-not because of how obedient or how self-serving my choices have been
And he reminds me that grace doesn’t have to be earned, understood, or explained by me.30:19
It is free, undeserved. A gift.
Ahhh. But I don’t do well with those. If someone gives me something, I have a hard time accepting it. I scramble. Something in return–quick! A gift for them, a note of thanks, a favor. I can barely handle it. But that isn’t why people give me gifts, is it? To make me run around and try to earn them?
It certainly isn’t the reason that God gives. The only thing God wants me to do with his precious grace is to humbly receive it.
“When you come before me, whoever gave you the idea of acting like this, running here and there, doing this and that–All this sheer commotion in the place provided for worship?” Isaiah 1:12 MSG
But I feel like I should do something. Run here and there, strive hard, criticize myself…maybe these might make me feel like I could possibly earn it a little bit?
Nope. He reminds me again. That isn’t how grace is given. It is an absolutely free and completely undeserved gift from his loving, forgiving, good, and generous heart.
All I can do is thank him.
All I can do is be still and accept this gift that he is offering without trying to pay him back.
All I can do is cry to him for help.
As I open my heart and trust His, He will do all the work. Grace will flow in overwhelming abundance. More and more will pour over me, around me, into me. So much grace, that all I can do is laugh (or cry) in relief and rest in this waterfall of love and joy and freedom.
This is all he wants in return.
My heart…open to His.
Open your heart to His greater-than-expected gift of grace. Cry to Him for help as you struggle to receive it, to believe it. He is pouring out his forgiveness, His love, His joy to wash over you and draw you close. And He will keep it coming. More and more for the rest of your life.
This article was brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Susie is a grateful mom of two (almost) grown boys who currently live and go to school in Honolulu, Hawaii. She and her husband live in a seaside town in the Puget Sound region called Mukilteo. They love to hike and kayak, they are huge Seattle sports fans, and they mostly love hanging out at home with their little dog Koko. Susie teaches P.E., Art, Technology, and Music at an all-kindergarten school which keeps her busy full time. Her passion and joy is sharing encouraging words with the people she loves. She is an active blogger and speaker, and she is the author of Just One Word: 90 Devotions to Invite Jesus In. She is always on the lookout for fun coffee shops, inspiring books, remote beaches, and farmers’ markets. Connect with Susie at www.susiecrosby.com.
Join the conversation: Do you struggle with grace?