Demanding Grace - Encouragement Café - May 23, 2017
By Aj Luck
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
“And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.” 1 Thessalonians 5:14 ESV
One of my favorite stories to tell about my son, was from the time when he was four years old. He had been watching Aladdin. Apparently, the movie sparked an inspiration to be creative. He silently retrieved his blue markers from his room, then proceeded to find our Siamese cat. He returned to the living room with his collected items and resumed his movie watching.
Apparently, the cat was being very cooperative as the two continued to watch the movie. I was busy doing laundry, not paying ANY attention to either my son or the movie.
The next thing I know, Jed, our cat, walks past me and he is BLUE. Crayola blue. From his ears to the tip of his toes and tail….blue.
Trying with everything I had in me not to bust out into hysterical laughter, I called for my son. Our poor cat looked absolutely humiliated. My son on the other hand, looked quite proud of his latest art project.
I went into responsible parental mode. I explained to my son, that even though the genie in the movie is great, that was not a good reason to color our family pet! I went on to further explain that there had to be a consequence for his choice and behavior.
I sent him to our room to sit on the bed while my husband and I talked about what his punishment should be. Well, that, and to give us time to collect our composure. The cat looked pathetic and hilarious at the same time.
While my husband and I were talking, screams of demand were coming from our room. Our son was standing on the bed screaming at the top of his lungs. He was mad that he had been put in a time out. This is what he was screaming:
“GIVE ME GRACE!”
“YOU GET IN HERE AND GIVE ME GRACE RIGHT NOW!”
“I MEAN IT MOMMY, YOU GIVE ME GRACE!”
By this time, tears were streaming down my face from holding in my laughter. I know, I was winning parenting of the year award by this time, right!? We let him scream it out.
Then it hit me from a different angle. Instantly, I felt kind of sick to my stomach. Is that what I sound like to God?? When I get angry in traffic, am I demanding grace? When I fail to keep a commitment or promise, “God, you give me grace right now!” When my attitude is less than charming…. Then I make bad choices and get mad at the results……WHEN. GOD. CONVICTS. ME (and I pretend I didn’t hear Him) When God says no…..
GIVE. ME. GRACE!
GIVE. ME. GRACE. RIGHT. NOW!
As I’m mid-tantrum, I’m quickly reminded of what it is exactly that I’m demanding.
A. W. Tozer says, “Grace is the good pleasure of God that inclines Him to bestow benefits on the undeserving.”
I’m demanding something I do not deserve. EVER. NONE of us deserve Grace. It’s God’s gift to us.
Have you ever found yourself in a spiritual time out? Good news! Hebrews 12:6 a ESV “For the Lord disciplines the one He loves,”
So the next time you find yourself throwing a fit, and you want to demand grace: PAUSE.
Remember, grace isn’t something that we can demand of God. It’s simply a gift that we can graciously receive - in the midst of our messes.
Dear Jesus, As I go through this day, enable me to hear Your voice; respond to your promptings; to pause before reacting. Help me accept Your grace as well as Your disciple so that You alone may be glorified in and throughout my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
© 2017 by Aj Luck. All rights reserved.
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