Grace—being given good things we don’t deserve …
I know what I am. I know the filthy thoughts and desires within me. I know how weak and useless I feel and act. And You know all that, much better than even I do. You see through my denial, my clever dodging of truth, my purposeful ignorance.
You could have turned from me in disgust, but You didn’t. What I deserve is to be in a dark, dank prison cell, with spiders and slime, no light, no love, no hope. But, in Your mercy and grace, You didn’t do that.
You could have left me in my old house, dirty and cluttered, lonely, half-crazy. But in Your grace, You didn’t. You gave me a beautiful house, friends, a church, work to do, and Your Son.
You could have left me there, functioning, enjoying my friends, helping children. But You didn’t. Graciously, You gave me travel, variety, and hope.
You could have left me with my mountains, my kitten, my books, my church. But in Your infinite grace, You gave me a smear of pink in Alaska at 2 a.m., glowing clouds over the Pacific ocean, stripes of brightness across the Nebraska plains. You gave me the sharp Rocky Mountains, the startlingly steep Alaskan range, the short and fully-treed Smokies.
You let me hold a friendly corn snake near Seattle, feed a kittenish tiger in Spokane, stroke ponderous Galapagos tortoises in Rapid City, ride a chittering dolphin in Orlando, admire a moose with twin calves in Yukon Territory, glimpse a grizzly with cubs at Yellowstone, marvel at a spiky caterpillar in Terre Haute, and kneel before enormous moths at Rome City, Indiana. Oh, “grace upon grace!” (John 1:16)
I have dabbled my toes in chilly mountain brooks, been splashed by waterfalls across the continent, waded through brine flies to the Great Salt Lake, ridden the waves off Florida, chased a seagull at Seaside, Oregon, and paddled the rivers of the Missouri Ozarks.
In flowers and trees I have seen a palette of colors beyond what I can name. I have inhaled the sage smell of the Utah desert, the cinnamon spice of morning in the Tetons, the thick flowers of the southeast, and roses in my own backyard.
You could have created all this just for Your own pleasure, but You didn’t. You created me in such a way that I would notice, and enjoy, and see Your hand and heart in all the earth. “The grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 1:14).” Thank You!
And no matter what may happen to me, help me remember Your love, Your grace, and what You didn’t do.