Excerpted from Grace Is Greater by Kyle Idleman
A number of years ago I was with my family on a road trip. We had spent hours traveling and pulled into a hotel parking lot around 2:00 a.m. I woke up my wife and kids, and in a zombie state we made our way into the hotel. My son was four years old and had insisted on carrying his own bag throughout the trip. He was at that age where he wanted to impress us with his strength. He would randomly flex his muscles to show them off or pick up something heavy just so he could show us he could do it. So even though he was half asleep, he picked up his bag from the trunk, slung the strap over his shoulder, and began to stagger his way slowly across the parking lot.
I was carrying a few bags and following behind when he suddenly stopped in the middle of the parking lot and let his bag fall off his shoulder and onto the pavement. I walked beside him and stopped. His eyes were barely open. I said, “Hey buddy, do you want me to carry your bag for you?” Too tired to verbally respond, he nodded his head yes. I picked up his bag and threw it over my shoulder and started toward the hotel door. After a few strides I looked back at my son and realized he wasn’t moving. I turned around and walked back to him. His shoulders were slumped and his head was down. He was exhausted. I asked him if he was OK, and without even looking up at me he asked, “Will you carry me too, Dad?” I scooped him up in my arms and headed into the hotel.
I know he wanted to show us how strong he was, but he reached a point where he was too tired and felt too weak to keep going. As a father, I wasn’t disappointed or angry with him. In fact, it brought me joy to be able to help him in the moment. He didn’t feel like he could go any farther. He didn’t have to drop the bag and ask for help. He could have insisted on carrying it himself. But the longer he refused to admit his weakness, the longer he missed out on the strength available to help him. The moment he dropped what he was carrying he discovered a grace that didn’t just carry his bag but carried him as well.
You’re never in a better position to experience God’s grace than the moment you realize you don’t have what it takes.
Excerpted from Kyle Idleman’s Grace Is Greater, published with permission from Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group. To find more information, visit KyleIdleman.com or GraceIsGreaterBook.com.
Kyle Idleman is teaching pastor at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky, the fifth-largest church in America, where he speaks to more than 20,000 people each weekend. He is the bestselling and award-winning author of Not a Fan, as well as Gods at War and The End of Me. He is a frequent speaker for national conventions and in influential churches across the country. Kyle and his wife have four children and live on a farm.