Such a loaded word. This one word can bring floods of thoughts of freedom, thankfulness, happiness, confusion, forgiveness, loveliness, restfulness the list goes on and on.
Were you surprised I included "confusion" in that list? I have my reasons....
Grace seems to be peppering every conversation I'm in lately. I am surrounded by it, can't get away from it. I see it everywhere, hear it everywhere, find a thousand reasons to think it through. All my thoughts come back to it, even my chores can lead to mental gymnastics about grace.
Because I don't get it.
Our culture doesn't get it (inside and outside the church, it seems). We speak of "falling from grace" when someone messes up and does something that is irredeemable - when Galatians 5:4 clearly speaks of falling from grace as falling back into living by rules and laws rather than freedom. That person who messed up? - he is probably falling INTO grace while we throw darts. I, on the other hand, fall from grace on an hourly basis....
It's illusive, intangible and does not fit in my to-do list. There is no little box to check for grace. I like those little boxes, they fit my need to be a Pharisee.
That's right, I called myself a Pharisee. My heart is so drawn to LAW. My entire makeup screams for order and lists and the need to fit things in boxes. But one conversation around the dinner table about the eternal security of babies or remote tribes who've never heard the gospel reminds me that God does not fit in my box. God doesn't fit in any body's box.
God is mystery.
Pharisee's don't like mystery.
My Bible reading program just took me on a journey through Job. I knew going into the book that I DID NOT want to read it, but my need to check off my little boxes would never allow me to skip. I've read it before, several times. Never liked it. God makes no sense in this book. God's mystery has fingerprints on every verse of this book, and I don't like the smudges they make. I don't like it. It doesn't fit into my God box. And then I get to a verse like this one:
And I take a deep breath, sigh, and say "No, I can't. I am so thankful I can't"
How my heart wrestles - I throw 2 year old tantrums about God not fitting in my box, and am SO GRATEFUL he doesn't.
I would not want to worship a god who fits in my box. That god would not be GOD. That god is me. How often do I worship my own boxed up version of who He is? Sadly, probably more than I like to admit.
I'm pretty sure I've said this before, but the older I get the more I do not understand God. It's such a paradox with everything else in life. With every other thing in life we devote time, money, and study to a subject and get better and more knowledgeable about it.
With God I get closer to Him and He get's more mysterious with every passing day.
Confusing? I think so.
Confusing but beautiful. The beautiful, grace-full mystery.
Linking up today with: Raising Mighty Arrows