Grateful for Grace

By on November 22, 2018

My pastor joked this week that when children have a birthday, their mothers should get all the presents! After all, it’s the mom that does all the hard work of carrying them, birthing them, and caring for them. In total fairness, the child doesn’t do anything except show up, so the parent deserves the presents, right?

Since two of my children have birthdays this month, I spent a considerable amount of time “discussing” this sermon with them. “I feel,” I said to my nearly 16-year-old, “that I deserve to receive all your presents this year. I don’t think I’ve been adequately compensated for giving birth to you, nor for many years of caring for you through thick and thin.”

You can imagine his response; it was a cross between horror and anger, mixed with some righteous indignation. “What about Mother’s Day?” he protested. “We have to celebrate you on Mother’s Day every year, and we don’t even get a Children’s Day!”

“Actually,” I said thoughtfully, “I believe there is a Children’s Day on the calendar somewhere… it’s just that no one ever remembers it.” (Dare I tell him no one has the desire to add yet another occasion for spoiling their children?!)

“You see?” my son replied. “We’ve been gypped! We’ve been robbed! It’s all about YOU!”

Reminding him of Christmas, Easter, and a multitude of other events in which he is the primary benefactor didn’t seem to help my argument. This child was adamant: I don’t deserve any more recognition than I already get, and one day a year should be MORE than enough for me!

As I contemplated this tongue-in-cheek debate with my son later in the week, I laughed to myself. Of course, my pastor’s joking remark was partially true, but what stood out to me most was the swift and spirited rebuttal on the part of my child, who believes that his arrival on the world’s scene should be attributed completely to him, and no one else. (I can’t wait until he has his own children! Ha!)

Not coincidentally, my quiet time study this morning happened to be on the subject of grace. With this conversation fresh in my mind, I realized: “grace is like that.”

 

Grace is Like That

Grace is a free, undeserved gift God gives although we are unworthy of it. Our life, our accomplishments all have much more to do with God’s sustaining grace in our lives than with anything we have done. In fact, we could not do anything without His grace!

It is God who creates us and gives us life. It is God who carries us through difficult times. It is God who sustains our health and enables us to cope with illness. It is God who determines where we will live, go to school, or work. Job offers, our education, our social status and even our financial security are all gifts from God. The danger is in thinking, like my kids do, that we had anything to do with it at all!

“But I studied hard to get my degree,” you might argue. “I did the work, even if God opened the door.”

True. But we are only able to work because of the grace and strength God gives us each day. Our view of God, like my son’s view of me, is still very small. We don’t see the enormous sacrifice that He makes to ensure our creation, protection, and right direction.

Without Jesus’s sacrifice, there would be no grace for my life. I would fail miserably at keeping God’s laws, and find no present peace or eternal future. Yet God – in His great grace – has decided to shower ME with all the gifts, benefits, and blessings of being His child. It may be my spiritual birthday, but He did all the work!

Psalm 147:10-11 reads: “God does not delight in the strength of the horse; He does not take pleasure in the legs of a man. The Lord favors those who fear Him, those who wait for His lovingkindness.” (NKJV.)

It is my prayer that I will not presumptuously believe I am the source of my own strength, goodness or destiny. I am here only because God chose to give me life, just as my husband and I chose to have children. I live because God sustains me.

I do not deserve the wonderful gifts God shares with me daily, but I can choose to humbly accept them, knowing that it is He who deserves all the glory. My prayer today is that as God’s child, I will always remember where I came from, worshiping Him and celebrating His lovingkindness.

My son didn’t realize how true his final comment was.

It’s all about You, Lord.

 

©Deborah Perkins / www.HisInscriptions.com

 

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Grateful for Grace