Monday, June 29, 2015

Grace Isn’t Just for Mistakes




When I clean out the pantry, or the closet, or the basement, it’s a mess. Everything has to come out, in total chaos, to be sorted through and then put back in order. 

It feels like the Lord has been doing that in my life lately.

He’s been taking out all the tidied up stuff and making a mess –so that He can put it back in right order. This has been chaotic, but a blessing.

In the meantime- here’s my brain:


That’s not how it usually looks. I’m a neat-freak with my thoughts too. But that’s how I keep things in order. 

And I love order.

So the whole God-making-a-mess-to-clean-it-up-better thing has been….troubling.

I can’t remember which day that major event happened on. I can’t recall if I paid her back. She told me about a difficulty that I did pray for then, but today I can’t remember what all that was about to ask how it’s going.

No one is dying because I can’t remember these things. I’ve found ways to figure out the answers. But the disorder makes me feel like I’m failing. So I find myself praying for grace.

And that’s weird.

I’m praying for grace in stuff that I’m not making mistakes in. That aren’t sin. Because it isn’t sin to have something slip the mind or to have to look something up. Yet grace is needed, and not just for me.
Grace is needed in many situations, not just after you’ve messed up.

We need grace because of how we’re made: imperfect. Flawed. Limited. Insufficient.

You and I know this. We sense it because when we feel that our circumstances are plaguing us or our efforts aren’t enough, we call for grace. We ask God to be gracious with us because we aren’t worthy and we aren’t able. Yet God’s grace was sufficient for Paul in His weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). 

What about in yours?

Romans 11:6 also hints alludes to the nature of grace: “But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.”

Isn’t that wonderful?

We get to: “Let us then approach God's throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). Not just when we mess up or make mistakes. The Lord knows we need His grace all throughout times of need –and success, joy, change, challenge….

Think on this: “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect” (1 Corinthians 15:10). That’s why grave is about more than covering up sin: it’s about His transforming us and being in relationship to our limited, flawed persons.

The famous verse “draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8)? That comes right after we’re told that God opposes the proud and favors the humble. Those words come after these: God “gives us more grace.

Grace. Grace. Grace.

Allowing room for imperfection, humbly recognizing weakness, accepting who we are and submitting to His will that we might transform in His power….all a part of living in His grace.

Come to think of it...when I clean out a closet and have to make a mess in the process, there is a grace period. A full 30 minutes or so in which the chaos is perfectly acceptable because it's necessary and helpful. 

Are you dwelling in grace amidst your own disorder and chaos today?


This post is being shared on: #TestimonyTuesday, #RaRaLinkupIntentionally Pursuing,Titus2sdayWoman to Woman WednesdayWomen with Intention, andTellHisStory.

16 comments:

  1. Hi, I'm visiting from the Testimony Tuesday link-up. I love your post and I can identify with it a lot. I also like things to be ordered and controlled and I think God had been making things kind of chaotic for me lately so that I can learn to trust him- not to depend on my own planning and organisation but actually to depend on him. I love your description of living in his grace- "Allowing room for imperfection, humbly recognizing weakness, accepting who we are and submitting to His will that we might transform in His power…."

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    1. Thank you so much Carly! It's hard to let go of our "controlled" things!

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  2. Thank you for these beautiful thoughts and scriptures about my favorite word: Grace. I even had it tattooed on my wrist a few weeks ago as a reminder :). My life has truly been irrevocably changed by this precious gift He so freely gives.

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    1. Wonderful word and truth behind it!! : ) Blessings!

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  3. Visiting from #EspressosofFaith via #RaRaLinkup! Thank you for this! "I can’t remember which day that major event happened on. I can’t recall if I paid her back. She told me about a difficulty that I did pray for then, but today I can’t remember what all that was about to ask how it’s going." That describes me right now as well…down to the details! You are so right about your closet analogy. There is a "grace period." Such a great way to think of it. Blessings!

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    1. Thank you! Something the Lord is teaching me too : ) Grateful for grace periods!

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  4. Thanking you for this word today, milady! Dropping by from Jennifer Dukes Lee's linky. OH! What a great reminder to this foggy brain of mine that wants to hide under the bed because I'm not as quick or as sharp as I used to be. I often feel like I've failed the Lord. Shouldn't I get better, stronger, with age? Maybe, just wiser. Knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt--I just really don't have it all together and the only reason I can contribute anything of value is through His grace.
    Joy!
    Kathy

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  5. Ah, yeah not a fan of disorder and chaos either. So very true that we need grace in all situations, we need God because on our own it's not enough.

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  6. Hello Bethany , Sometimes things spiral out of control. You see we need God's Grace to get through each day.
    Perfect is an impossible word.πŸ˜•
    God bless and enjoy your weekend

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  7. Hello Bethany , Sometimes things spiral out of control. You see we need God's Grace to get through each day.
    Perfect is an impossible word.πŸ˜•
    God bless and enjoy your weekend

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  8. Bethany, what a beautiful reminder that God's grace covers us in our weaknesses and in our shortcomings. In Him and through His grace we are strengthened and more than enough. Thank you, Bethany, for sharing your heart at #IntentionalTuesday on Intentionally Pursuing. : )

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  9. Hi, Bethany! I found you after you found me on the #RaRalinkup! I love your sweet site, too. I feel kinship with you because my other blog, Guilty Chocoholic Mama, is also something of a mix of recipes and faith. Blessings to you in the midst of the mess...which I SO identify with! :)

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