We throw around a lot of cliché phrases: “YOLO”… “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again”… “Man cannot live by bread alone”… and, an old favorite… “grace under fire.” First, don’t EVEN get me started on the whole idea of “clichés”; they’ve withstood the test of time and trials – that’s WHY they’ve become clichés! But, if you take a closer look at some of them, their meanings go well beyond cliché.
Recently, I had the unique opportunity to take an “up-close-and-personal” look at “grace” – in ALL its surprising forms. After an unavoidable fender-bender last week – out-of-town for a BUSINESS meeting – God literally showed me the FULL definition of grace! First, no one sustained any injuries. Second, despite the fact it was lunchtime, downtown, one block away from police headquarters, no officers were “drawn” to intervene… so, no ticket for me. THEN, the floodgate of blessings really opened!
“Grace” In ACTION!
My client sent someone to actually pick me up for our meeting and contacted the mechanic he personally uses for his business fleet. My friends rearranged their plans and schedules to assist. And, someone I had JUST met gladly agreed to take me back home (an HOUR away) after our meeting, as a “detour” on his originally-planned route! Finally, another dear friend took an entire day off from work to drive us to another out-of-town meeting – just to save me the expense of a rental. Talk about your blessings!!!
However, the most telling example of this “grace” actually came just seconds after the impact. And truthfully, I used some preeeetty “colorful” language, in the first second or two. But the minute I stepped out, an overwhelming sense of peace filled me. Despite it all, somehow I just “knew” everything would be okay. THAT was the moment I finally “got” what they mean by “grace under fire.” See, as a deeply-flawed person, sometimes I can let my emotions get the better of me… as evidenced by my initial R-rated outburst. But, in that instant after the accident, I took a deep breath and said, “Okay, God…I’m just putting this in Your hands.”
And, man alive, did He take over! All He asks, is for us to have faith He WILL handle it. “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.” (Romans 5:1-2)
Days later, confident this matter was in the best hands possible, I’ve now had some time to reflect. And it kept coming back to the whole idea of grace. Now, as a writer, the dictionary and thesaurus are my friends and happy places I go. So I dug deeper into the actual word “grace.” It’s such a versatile word – noun and verb – with multiple uses as BOTH! Elegance, kindness, blessing, forgiveness, adorn, dignify… and that’s even before you dive into the whole “graceful, etc.” discussion. Often, we look at “grace” through the narrow goggles of our own particular perspective.
But grace can not only be something “actively” extended to or by you, but it can be a whole mindset and lifestyle. And I saw that “lifestyle” in action last week! These people just “DID” what they did, because nothing else even occurred to them. From the other person involved, to the tow truck driver, to the mechanic, to the body shop folks, to my friends – both brand-new and longstanding – they ALL demonstrated the true definition of grace!
“There, But For The Grace Of God…”
Then, another of those “clichés” popped to mind: “There, but for the grace of God, go I.” I can’t begin to count how many times I’ve said that… and you’ve probably thrown it out a few times, yourself. However, it’s one thing to say it and quite another to actually experience it! Repeatedly! In a continual avalanche! Honestly, it can be both overwhelming and calming. But I feel like He has got everything under control, walking beside me holding my hand, keeping me steady. No emotional roller coaster, no sleepless nights tossing and turning, no buried anxiety. Just peace!
It’s quite remarkable! Yes, I still have to pay for the damage repairs. Yes, I have to juggle a circus-full of logistics. Yes, I am without transportation while this is all being worked out. And, YES, He definitely needs for me to do my part! Yet, even recounting this whole incident doesn’t amp-up my blood pressure and STILL fills me with a sense of confident faith. It should come as no surprise, since it’s VERY clearly spelled out in His Word: “But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” (Ephesians 4:7)
Apparently, I had been just “cashing-in” on that grace in times of need, but had not really incorporated it as an ongoing mindset. Thanks to this amazing community, I’ve seen what it looks like. And thanks to His grace, I can now fully embrace a life of “grace” – in ALL its forms and practices! Fortunately, I don’t have to do it alone… I have an entire online King’s Ransom community eager to offer encouragement and support… and so do YOU! So please share your experiences of grace with us, just visit us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. And grab some grace for yourself – trust me, it’s a game-changer!