God’s grace has been defined to me in many ways.
A popular acronym I’ve heard all my life is
“God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.”
At Easter time, that is something I dwell on often: Jesus Christ, the sinless Lamb of God, sacrificed Himself on the cross for ME. My sin-debt was paid at His expense.
Another definition I’ve heard often is that grace is unmerited favor. For some reason, that is harder for me to wrap my head around. Yes, I know I don’t deserve anything God gives me, and yet He gives. But why? How? Why would He love ME, and as my pastor often says, even DELIGHT in me? I guess I know me all too well, that I fail so often, let myself down, and don’t meet my own expectations. But GOD – my Father – continues to delight in ME, His child, even as He observes the ways I mess up.
The only way I can truly grasp this concept is through my own parenting. I continue to love and delight in my children even when we aren’t clicking. Just recently my 10 year old daughter and I had an altercation, at the end of which we concluded that even though we totally DID NOT understand each other, we were going to continue to love each other. And I am going to continue to attempt to show her my ways because I have her best interests at heart.
This year, I wasn’t going to buy any Easter clothes. Sometimes in years past, we have gotten new dresses/clothes for Easter, but this year, the budget envelope for clothing was EMPTY. I had just recently bought my daughter a casual dress she really wanted, telling her if I got it, I wouldn’t be buying any more clothes for her for a while…
But today, after surveying her closet and seeing she really didn’t have any nice spring dresses, I bought her an Easter dress (and it’s not that we don’t have any money, it’s just not in the allotted budget, making this a very special purchase).
It isn’t anything too expensive, just a Walmart dress … but it is MY way of showing my daughter I love her, to do something for her that she wasn’t expecting.
A little unmerited favor.
Someone gave me a dress & shoes for Miriam … and a tie for Andrew.
That was an unexpected blessing too!
I think on Easter Sunday they will be a nice-looking trio of kids … and I will be reminded that God delights in me and in my children – so much so that He sent His Son to die for us – and to victoriously RISE AGAIN – that God extends this grace to all of us. Unmerited.