Seasoned With Grace

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When life comes at us hard, sometimes we find ourselves in the “burnt out” stage, and we feel alone. This is a scary and hard place to be. The scary part is that this isn’t the place that God desires us to be in. However, we inadvertently choose this spot for ourselves by striving in our own strength and not letting the Lord carry our burdens. We seem to think that we can handle it all on our own because we have the mentality we are invincible when it comes to certain areas of our lives.

In reality, we know we can’t do anything apart from God.

It’s that undeserved, unearned, and unmerited favor – grace, that is. It’s the way we have been saved. If we try to fully understand the depth of the meaning of grace and why we have been given it so freely, we will always come up short. God has chosen not to reveal all of this to us, so we are to accept it fully for what it is: a gift.

These past six months, I have felt totally alone. I felt like I was being pulled in a thousand directions and I was not able to balance or prioritize at all. I was trying to be the greatest friend, the golden daughter, the esteemed scholar, the most reliable co-worker, the faithful worship leader, the available youth leader, and a woman who had it all together for other women to see.

And then the Lord showed me His grace and that His grace is not conditional upon my performance at all.

His grace is sufficient for me (2 Cor. 12:9). I was trying to live my life by seeking His favor, when that is actually the complete opposite of grace. I just needed to be free. Some of the hardest things for me in this season have been walking away from plans and desires that I thought were good, but in all of that to still see that His grace is sufficient for me.

During this difficult time, I have seen God extend His grace to me so that I can then extend grace to those who may not necessarily deserve it in my eyes. This act of trying to extend grace to others is such an illustration of the way we can fail Jesus daily, but even in that there is no condemnation; simply grace. In our world today, this unconditional grace doesn’t make sense.

But that’s just it: we are called to be set a part and to be a light.

I once heard a pastor say that we have to give each other grace to be different. We are all made to be different, but we have that one commonality in Christ Jesus. In this world it is so difficult to extend grace to those we feel in our hearts don’t really deserve it. But then the thought quickly comes to me: just as they are not worthy of grace, neither am I. Somehow, Jesus thinks otherwise. It is so mind blowing to think that we were made in His image and He desires for us to be like Him!

God knows that we are so incapable of that standard – and this is where that amazing grace comes in – it is there for us to simply live in and to find that freedom that we long for. I can’t even begin to express how many times I have failed God and, because I am human, will continue to do so.

Yet, He relentlessly meets me with that unending grace.

I find it pretty humorous that I am writing this article. I recently found out the meaning of my name, Karissa. Apparently, it means “grace” and “very dear”. I laugh, only because I see such a picture of how God uses the foolish things to reveal His glory. After I researched the origin and the biblical meaning, I saw how God is molding and chiseling me to live up to my namesake.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
>> Deuteronomy 31:6 <<

My dear friends, we will never understand the concept of grace, but there is such beauty in that mystery. And in great weakness there is great grace. Beloveds, lets walk in that freedom and – for the sake of being cheesy – embrace the grace!

“To the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved”.
>> Ephesians 1:6 <<

Cíao,
Karissa

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