Posted by: pmarkrobb | November 19, 2017

faster than grace allows

The Wednesday morning men’s group I belong with (far more than just “to”) is currently reading a book titled, Practicing the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence.  It is a simple and practical call to be sold-out in relationship with God, an invitation to experience Him not solely in a worship service, but in the turning of your everyday service into worship.

All at once in reading yesterday morning, I found myself caught and then consumed by a single sentence fragment … “she wants to go faster than grace allows.”  The full context of the fragment speaks the truth of a sister in Christ whose life gives evidence of a fullness of good “will.”  The full sentence reads,

“She seems so full of good will, but she wants to go faster than grace allows.”

Without being able to ask Brother Lawrence, I will assume the “will” he referred to is full up of good intentions, energy, constitution, purpose, commitment, desire and character.  But, alas, this sister in Christ … wants to go faster than grace allows.

I am fascinated with this fragment.  What does it truly mean?  What did it mean in her life?  What could it say about ours?  I plan to sit with this fragment far past my occasion of reading and then writing about it.  But what strikes me immediately is a truth that I have most assuredly learned the “hard way” in the short number of steps I have walked in this life.  Namely, that God knows we will choose something other than Him (daily and multiple times in the gift of each new today), and He wants to use those choices in the work of us becoming more like Jesus.

My youngest son Connor is right in the thick of preparing for, and taking, his first ever round of high school finals.  He has a strong desire for high grades.  He has very high expectations of himself.  I genuinely believe a 100% is his expectation every time he takes a test or quiz.  That desire is generally good, but I saw an interesting (and expected) byproduct of it a few days ago and didn’t miss the opportunity for a quiet conversation and re-calibration.  All at once (it had, no doubt, been building in him for some time), his strong and good desire manifested itself as a potentially crippling fear that threatened to tear down all his good work in preparing.  “You’re going to get something wrong,” I assured him, “but perfection is not the goal.”

I continued on to reassure him with my observation that he had done a great job in preparation.  He had worked hard and studied well.  And now all that was left was to trust.  In the context of his test taking, it was to trust his preparation.  In our’s, it is to trust the Great Preparer.

We are going to get things wrong.  We are going to get a lot of things wrong.  Perfection is not the goal.  Stop for a minute and really hear that.  Perfection is not the goal.

I believe that on some level we know that.  We know we’re broken and fallen, and that living this life without sin or failure is not possible.  But do we live day-to-day, moment-by-each and every moment with that truth in the most forward part of our mind?  Don’t we expect ourselves to get it right?  Every time?  Maybe you need reminding (like I certainly do from time to time) that God doesn’t.  And maybe you and I need reminding that God delights in showing mercy.  Delights.

Mercy is His first inclination.  Showing grace and mercy is His first response to our sin and failing.  If I can be so bold, I would say that God isn’t most desirous of a sinless streak in our walk with Him.  He’ll take it as a byproduct of being continually in His presence and becoming more like Jesus … but finishing sinless isn’t His goal for us in this life.

As we confess each sin and genuinely repent, may we not resolve to start the next sinless streak.  Rather, may we praise and thank Him for His grace and mercy now … and in our next sin and failure, declaring our dependence on Him.

May we not live faster than grace allows.


Responses

  1. A joyful read and reflection to start this new day He has made! 😊 A new day whose only true absolute consistency will be His mercy and grace. Him! He is a good, good Father. You are a good, good Father! Thank You!

  2. Great thoughts. Grace is not an event but a process.


Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: