Posted by: mikenicholsblog | August 5, 2012

accept His grace

Today I walked in a sea of a thousand faces. Before you think I am writing a poem, understand that a friend and I went to a professional golf event. From their faces, you would have thought that life was grand for all of the golf patrons. The truth is however that everyone at the tournament had a long list of “why did I do that” or “I wish things could have been different” on their life resume. Viewing mistakes on a golf course pales in comparison to looking back at your life with regret. Great golfers would never overcome bad shots by re-living them. And we won’t overcome our failures by dwelling on them.

Each one of our lives is littered with failures we wish we could take back.  God understands those moments, and meets us with open arms when we come to Him with our failures.  But we so often get in the way, choosing to focus on regret, and what was not accomplished, instead of embracing and accepting the boundless grace He so freely offers.

If you took an honest look at your life right now, would you remember failures and weak moments too easily, while forgetting the marvelous grace that has been poured on your life?  If you are prone to look back with regret, please reflect on words penned by  author Brennan Manning.  He shares in his book, The Ragamuffin Gospel, a prayer in which he heard a word from the Lord one morning:

Little brother, I witnessed a Peter who claimed that
he did not know me, a James who wanted power in
return for service to the kingdom, a Philip who failed
to see the Father in Me, and scores of disciples who
were convinced I was finished at Calvary. The New
Testament has many examples of men and women
who started out well and then faltered along the way.
Yet on Easter night I appeared to Peter. James is not
remembered for his ambition but for the sacrifice of
his life for me. Philip did see the Father in Me when
I pointed the way, and the disciples who despaired
had enough courage to recognize Me when we broke
bread at the end of the road to Emmaus. My point,
little brother, is this: I expect more failure from you
than you expect from yourself.

You and I have failed before and we will again, of this you can be certain.  But be even more certain of the truth that the Father will not stop loving us. If you are carrying the weight of yesterday’s failures, your today is weaker because of it. God is full of grace, and will absolutely give you and I freedom from our failures. I don’t think Peter ever forgot denying His Lord, but that failure didn’t define him. If your mind quickly races to thoughts of why did I do that or I wish things could have been different, could it be that you are letting  your yesterday define today?

As you begin another week, try to think like those golfers that I watched today. They look at a bad shot, forget it and hit the next one with confidence. You and I can live with confidence also, in spite of our failures.  Confess them to Christ, embrace your weaknesses, risk new failures (remember He already knows we will), and accept His grace.

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