I am covered in grace, and it’s more apparent to me than ever before. This weekend, (’cause I’m still here) I had the pleasure of spending the weekend in Nashville. I’m truly lucky because I get that pleasure quite often.
A particular song played several times before I left Huntsville — a song focusing on being still and recognizing God in moments, recognizing His goodness in your life. Saturday morning, I enjoyed brunch with two women I’m lucky enough to consider spiritual mentors. As we spent time together, I was reminded of how amazing my life has been — full of redemption and overwhelming mercy — and how amazing my future is shaping up to be — full of grace and sharing Christ with the world. On the way home from brunch, I stopped at a new coffeehouse in east Nashville and finished a devotion. That day’s study focused on the same message of recognizing God’s goodness and grace. In Nehemiah 8, the people wept as the Word was read because they were focusing on how far they’d fallen. But then they were reminded of the same thing being repeatedly spoken into my heart lately — grace.
We need to confess our sins and repent, and we need forgiveness and redemption. But with the Father’s forgiveness comes letting that sin go, breaking free of the past that so easily wraps its tentacles around us, holding us back. I’ve done some pretty wretched things in my life, but regretting those moments isn’t helping me grow in Him, nor is it allowing myself to fall into His ocean of grace. (hat tip). Just like in Nehemiah, we need to rejoice for how far we have come since falling, embrace His love in our lives, His sovereignty and His unmatchable forgiveness. Sometimes, we just need to praise Him. And that’s what this weekend has been for me — in a city where so many of my mistakes were made, I’ve worshiped and praised Him, thanking Him openly for the grace He’s poured over me and the grace He continues to show me.
That’s the key, you see, His grace. For it’s by grace through faith that any of us recognize His love and embrace it. It’s by grace that we are forgiven of our sins and welcomed into His kingdom.
It’s such a simple word. Five letters. One syllable. But so much meaning. Full of beauty and mercy. As the hat tip above originally suggests, grace really is an ocean and we are all sinking in it. What a beautiful place to sink. To drown in His grace and goodness.
Take a moment, be still and know. Recognize and rejoice.
Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” The Levites calmed all the people, saying, “Be still, for this is a holy day. Do not grieve.” Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them. -Nehemiah 8:10-12