Have you ever been to the ocean?
Have you seen the waves crashing in?
What do they do?
One after the other they just continue to roll in.
Wave upon wave, they never stop! That’s what my God’s grace is like!
“…Of His fulness we have all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. ” (John 1:16-17)
Our Bible teacher read verse sixteen and then stood before the class, letting the impact of it sink in. Some of us were slow at grasping such an incredible truth and so he moved on to his illustration.
He pulled out a thick stack of paper with the word “grace” written on each slip.
“Rachel? Would you like some grace?” He asked before handing over a couple slips. “Anyone else want some grace?” He handed out a few more slips. “Nobody else needs some grace?”
Three or four students hopped up and crowded around him, hands outstretched. He passed out slip after slip, and the stack still wasn’t running out. The students returned to their seats and he moved to the center of the room.
“I still have a lot of grace left here. But you know what? I have lots more where this came from!”
He turned around and lifted up a heavy box that rocked the table he set it on.
“This box is full of more grace! And you know what? I got this box off of a truck full of boxes of more grace. And that truck got it’s boxes from a warehouse that’s filled with boxes and boxes of more grace. And that warehouse is just one in a chain of warehouses found in every single state. God’s grace is even greater! I once had a guy tell me that he’d done too many bad things to be able to accept God’s grace.” Our teacher raised his eyebrows as he shared his memory, before continuing. “I just looked at him and said ‘That’s what makes it GRACE! It’s unmerited favor!’”
The teacher moved to the spot in front of me. I hadn’t received a single slip yet.
“Would you like some grace?” He asked. I nodded my head.
“But what if you mess up?” He laid down a slip.
“What if you’ve had a terrible past life of sin?” Another slip was laid down.
“What if…” The teacher started laying down slips, one after the other, in front of me, and the pile grew bigger.
Every sin, every guilt, every failure was covered by the continual covering of grace. And little by little, slip by slip, I was once again reminded of how incredible my God is.
Such a simple and profound illustration, but one that I desperately need to be reminded of…over and over.
“Not what my hands have done
can save my guilty soul;
not what my toiling flesh has borne
can make my spirit whole.
Not what I feel or do
can give me peace with God;
not all my prayers and sighs and tears
can bear my awful load.
Thy work alone, O Christ,
can ease this weight of sin;
thy blood alone, O Lamb of God,
can give me peace within.
Thy love to me, O God,
not mine, O Lord, to thee,
can rid me of this dark unrest,
and set my spirit free.
Thy grace alone, O God,
to me can pardon speak;
thy pow’r alone, O Son of God,
can this sore bondage break.
No other work, save thine,
no other blood will do;
no strength, save that which is divine,
can bear me safely through.
I praise the God of grace;
I trust his truth and might;
he calls me his, I call him mine,
my God, my joy, my light.
‘Tis he who saveth me,
and freely pardon gives;
I love because he loveth me,
I live because he lives.”