What do you think of when you hear the word, “grace?”
Maybe you think of a friend by that name.
Or, maybe you think of someone who’s graceful.
Or, maybe you think of the old, endearing hymn, “Amazing Grace.”
When I hear the word, "grace," this story comes to mind:
A man was speeding down a highway, intentionally going faster than he should have. He was in a hurry to get home. It wasn’t too long before a police officer pulled him over and wrote the man a ticket for speeding. He was going 20 miles above the designated speed limit, so it was fair enough. However, the man pleaded with the police officer, saying, “Sir, I really can’t afford to pay this ticket right now.”
The police officer stopped in the middle of writing the ticket, and thought for a moment.
Now, I know what you all are thinking…the police officer is going to be merciful and let the man go without giving him a ticket! But read on…
The officer then looked at the man and said, “You know, it wouldn’t be fair for me to let you go for speeding. I wouldn’t be doing my job. You could have seriously injured yourself and the other cars around you, but, here’s what I will do."
The police offer took his own wallet out from his pocket and handed the man a number of crisp bills.
“Here’s all the money you’ll need to pay off the speeding ticket, and don’t worry about the ticket appearing on your driving record. I’ll make sure to get that cleared for you so that your insurance policy won’t go up. In fact, I’ll clear your entire driving record of all its black marks - I’ll make sure its a clean slate."
The man, taking the cash, sat there bewildered as can be.
But the officer wasn’t finished. He then handed the man a piece of paper with all of his contact information, saying,"When you get the chance, contact me personally. Call on me whenever you need anything, whether its help, money, protection or just a friend to be there for you. When you have the time, I also want to meet up with you so that I can make you a legal heir of all my assets."
The man could not believe what he was hearing. Before he got the chance to say anything, the police officer took off in his car and was out of sight.
While this story is merely figurative, it helped me to understand ‘grace’ for what it truly is.
If the police officer had just let the man go without giving him the speeding ticket, that would have been unfair to all the drivers who've had to pay speeding tickets. It would also have been an act of mercy, not grace.
Grace is extraordinary and completely not of this world. Like the story I just told you, grace simply does not make sense.
Grace is when you get something you don’t deserve, and then on top of that, you’re given much more, far more, way more, exceedingly more than you could ever hope for or dream of. This is why grace is truly something amazing and worth taking note of.
You see, we’re all in need of grace. We’ve all made mistakes, and continue to make them. We’ve hurt people intentionally, we’ve been disgustingly selfish, we’ve been mean, we’ve cheated, we’ve lied and have done more shameful things than we ever could admit. We’ve all sinned. Period.
But the amazing thing is that a man named Jesus, the Son of God, came to give us amazing grace. Like the police officer, he didn’t come to just dismiss our sins and say, “OK, I’ll let you get away with it for now!” and then allow us to go on making the same mistakes again.
No, grace doesn’t simply just stop there.
Grace says, “I’m going to pay the punishment for you – all the mistakes you’ve ever made. Then on top of that, I’m going to help you and give you what it takes to start a new life. Forget all the regrets and the hurts and the sins you’ve done in the past. Leave that all behind. I want to give you the most extraordinary life you’ve ever imagined. Finally, I promise that everything I have is yours. And I will be with you forever and always.”
Is that not the most amazing, unimaginable, crazy, beautiful thing you’ve ever heard?
That’s why I love Jesus. Because He is grace.
I’m the dumb one. I sometimes forget that He’s there to supply to me all the grace I’ll ever need. I forget to call on Him when I need help. I keep on beating myself up about the mistakes I’ve made in the past when really, He’s already wiped them all clean. I get jealous of others and become selfish, trying to get everything for myself, when really, He can give me the best things at the right time.
All I need to do is just trust and rest in His grace.
Jesus wants to give you all the grace you’ll ever need because He wants you to live an extraordinary life and not waste it being stuck in the same rut over and over again.
Do you want to become a recipient of that amazing grace? All you have to do is ask.