Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power – Grace, what’s that?

This morning during my quiet time, I read from my daily devotional, and then from my One Day at a Time Al-Anon book. They both talked about Grace, so obviously I’ve much to learn, and therefore much to share about this subject. The first thing I read was: “For the Grace of God that brings salvation to man teaches us to say ‘no’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and Godly lives in this present age.” So many thoughts came to me, flooding my mind from all directions; I’ll try to share them with you as they came.
The first one has to do with the next book in the Destination Joyful series, “Seen and Not Heard,” just like the gift of Grace. It is the main theme woven into the pages of this next book, silently but powerfully, as Lacey continues to pursue love in all the wrong places, that is, until she runs right into herself.
Another thing I’m reminded of is that Grace is a bondage breaker, and if we truly understood it, we would learn to say no to the things that we know we should say no to, whatever they may be. It is so hard for me to admit how long it took me to understand this gift of unmerited, undeserved favor, especially when it came to giving up smoking. For years and years and years I tried in my own strength to stop because I knew He didn’t like it. I would hide behind my shame, coming out when the guilt had subsided, but each time I fell, the time of shame was even more prolonged as I spiraled into the cycle of self-loathing and condemnation. Never once did He give up and walk away. No, His Grace picked me up EVERY time and wiped me off and He patiently waited for me to let go of the cigarettes and grasp the gift of Grace. He even gave me a picture: It was of me holding my cigarette in between my fingers and bringing it to my mouth, and as I inhaled deeply, and then looked up and exhaled, there in the sky were the words “I love you” made from puffy clouds, His puffy clouds and not the ones made with the smoke from my cigarette.
I’d like to say that the sky opened up and the angels began singing and the desire to smoke went up, up and away, but that’s not the way it happened. Instead, it was a process, and little by little, I began to understand that Grace is a gift that requires both hands to receive. When someone hands you a beautifully wrapped package, maybe a birthday gift or a Christmas gift, don’t you use both hands to receive it, to open it, and to clutch the gift close you your heart? So it is with the gift of Grace. While He loves us in the midst of our bad choices and our habits that hold us in bondage and prevent us from receiving and understanding Grace, He continues to hold out the gift of Grace. It requires us to let go and receive it so we may truly experience the freedom it brings.
See, Grace is what it is. Like His love, it will never change. It’s undeserved, unmerited favor, a free gift yesterday, today and tomorrow. Accepting this free gift does not make you or me perfect, not at all, but if we continue to daily empty our hands and let go of anything that brings Him sadness, then we can begin to understand not just the price of Grace, but the depths of its significance.
Oh, and by the way, my Al-Anon reading talked about extending gracewhich they define as consistent and gentle courtesy – to members of our family, including the littlest one. Ouch, does that ever sting, especially in light of the fact that we are currently on vacation with our best friends and their five-year-old. Need I say more?
Blessings to you,
Evinda
P.S.
Keep checking in for more news on the upcoming “Let’s Kiss Dating Good-Bye” series that I’m currently working on via Blog Talk Radio, or U-Tube.

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2 Responses to “Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power – Grace, what’s that?”

  1. Lee Todhunter says:

    Let’s just say that I am looking forward to GRACE, not JUSTICE when I meet my Maker. He can supply it to the fullest.

  2. admin says:

    Amen…. So very well said from such a wise woman:)