A few years ago I got one of those pink-sherbet colored phones. What a loss when I couldnâ€™t catch her before she took a nosedive into the pool during Eli’s swimming lesson. A few months later, my replacement phone literally jumped from my back pocket and into the toilet bowl (pre-anything, I promise). Then after purchasing Â a cool new iPhone, I placed it in the cup holder where a bottle of water had spilled overnight. It wasnâ€™t until I pulled into theÂ office and picked up my phone that I realized it was drippingâ€¦and dead.
Late Sunday we were driving home to Nashville from Georgia. Instead of putting my iPhone on my lap, I sleepily put it into a half empty cup of coffee that I insisted on drinking without a lid. My ninety-two cent cup of coffee will end up costing me dearly.
Me + All the stupid stuff Iâ€™ve done over the years = A lot of wasted money and time
I’ve locked my keys in the car while pumping gasâ€”misplaced my keys at the mall, called a locksmith to open the car and make a new key, then found the keys under a pile of clothes in the junior department after he finishedâ€”I bounced a check or twoâ€”lost my debit card (forty times at least)â€”lost my check bookâ€”lost my walletâ€”lost my keys againâ€”lost my phone againâ€”lost my licenseâ€”bought a greeting card business because I heard about it on WLIXâ€”dropped my phone down the air conditioning ductâ€”drove my husband’s car for the first time and ran into the curb at Walgreens causing a flat tireâ€”backed into my husbandâ€™s truckâ€”refused to read a map or ask for directions only to go three hours out of the wayâ€”purchased a dog with a credit card…
Must I prolong the agony?
My first comment to Regi on Monday was, â€œJust buy me a cheap flip phone with no capabilities to do anything.” Actually I deserve nothing less than a beeper at this point.
Why do we expect punishment when we mess upâ€”because we donâ€™t deserve any better? Because we’re so pitiful and grace applies to everyone except us? Because in everything from petty phone disasters to life altering decisions we should have used more wisdom or showed some restraint?
Maybe it’s because we have lost sight of the enormity of grace.
â€œBut God gives us even more graceâ€¦â€ James 4:6 (NCV)
It doesnâ€™t say that God gives us a measuredÂ bit of grace. Instead, James very purposefully uses the present tense of â€œgivesâ€ which can only mean one thing. That He will never tire of dishing out grace every time I need it. No matter how many times I ask!
â€œAfter you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, the one who called you into his eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will himself restore, empower, strengthen, and establish youâ€¦â€ 1 Peter 5:10 (CEB)
And after I’ve gone a round or two against myself, it finally registers what Peter meant when he penned those words (and with a little help from www.Dictionary.com):
- He establishes me: He causes me to be accepted or recognized
- He restores me: He gives back; make return or restitution of (anything taken away or lost)
- He empowers me: He gives power or authority to me; He authorizes, especially by official or legal means
- He strengthens me: He makes me become stronger
“So now what,” you may ask. Well, of course I’m going to get another phoneâ€”and of course there’s the likely possibility that something will eventually happen to it. But in the purest form of grace, my husband will make a trip to the Apple store, ask what color I’d like this time, (and possibly insist on a waterproof case), then pay for it. All without saying, “This is your last chance,” or “I can’t believe you’re making me do this,” or worse, “You don’t deserve this.”
And guess what? I’ll walk away from yet another fumble in life all the richer because I experienced the power of grace. Again.
How about you? Have you experienced grace lately?