I am an accident waiting to happen.
I trip over air. I am awkward. I barrel through life, a broken leg waiting to happen. In just the past six months I have:
- Tripped over a golf club while mowing
- Tripped over the flat electrical panel on our church’s sanctuary stage, nearly bowling down my fellow worship team member
- Missed my chair in the food court at the ATL airport, effectively dumping my tray with my food and drink
- Slid (and landed on my butt) across the kitchen floor that was inadvertently made slick when I sprayed furniture polish, thinking that it was air freshener.
- Fallen down half a flight of stairs at my company’s corporate offices. In front of all my co-workers
- And, effectively mortified my 16-year-old son, when I fell flat on my face by missing a curb on the beach boardwalk in Hermosa Beach, California, resulting in several people coming over to see if I needed assistance. He wasn’t the only one mortified. There was no way I could pull off a graceful exit from that mishap.
God has given me so much grace. Just not in the physical arena.
I am so incredibly awkward. Such an odd duck.
But, in being the subject of much grace-less-ness, I am that much more aware of the grace-full-ness of God our Father.
Because, being graceless and landing flat on my face so often (and not just physically), is humbling (and a bit humiliating), and highlights for me my–and our–need for His grace.
I recently did some study on John 1. I may go through the whole book again, in study, though I haven’t firmly decided on that yet. But I did re-study John 1, and spent most of the time on one of my all-time favorite passages, John 1:14-18:
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) 16 For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.
I love these verses, for many reasons.
First, the Word became flesh…..to dwell with us. The use of the word “Word” there is amazing and the culmination of all the verses from John 1:1 through John 1:13—Jesus became flesh, to be among us. Not just to visit, to dwell–to live. I dwell in this little house of mine; it is my home. Jesus dwelt among us. He abided with us, so we could abide with Him.
Second….we have seen His glory that belongs only to the Son of God the Father, and He is full of grace and truth…..
Pay attention here, because this is where this gets so very good. He is full of grace. He is full of truth. When something is full of something, there is room for no more. When a cup of water is full, not another drop will be contained. Jesus is all grace and all truth.
But, when I cup has water in it, and that water is given to someone to drink, the cup becomes less full. The water table goes down. It eventually becomes empty.
But not so with Son of God; not true with Jesus. He is full of grace and truth in such a way that there is no end to it. There is no end to His love and mercy and forgiveness and grace and truth. There just isn’t.
So, in verse 16, we are told that from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. Endless grace.
And, yet, it is never depleted.
What that tells me is this: I am in need of grace, every day. Every day. And, the only source of grace that I have available, is a source that never will be empty. And, will be given. Because it comes from his fullness, that is never un-full.
So, when I mess up, which is Oh, so very often, there is still grace for me. And, when I am weary, which also is Oh, so very often, there is still grace for me. And when my thinking if off-track, there is still grace for me. And for you.
It is free and unmerited. We do not deserve it. We can not work hard enough for it. We cannot pay penance enough for it.
It is a gift. And endless gift.
And, so, I love the words of this very old Wesley Hymn, that I found in some very old hymn books that a friend gave me. The title is “Jesus, Lover of my Soul”; I’ve never heard it sung, so I have no idea how the tune goes. But, good gracious, the words reflect well the fullness of grace that is found in Jesus alone:
Plenteous grace with Thee is found, grace to cover all my sin;
Let the healing streams abound; make and keep me pure within.
Thou of life the fountain art, freely let me take of Thee;
Spring Thou up within my heart; rise to all eternity.