Given or Received?

I prepared for the 2-3 week recuperation; off my feet totally. I built my “nest” of reading, writing and knitting, to fill the long days of being alone. Then “wham” as often happens with post-surgery recovery, there was a setback.  Now what? It’s time to watch the numerous recorded movies for a “rainy” day and in this case a “sick day.” When the recordings were depleted, there were the subscription channels.

“Feel good movies”! just what I needed when already a little melancholy about being in isolation for several weeks. There is always a lesson to be learned with every page of our lives. These past few days were no different. I experienced almost every emotion while viewing these quality movies; some based on true life stories, other movies reminding me of blessings of our lives.

One of my favorite movies was Grace Card. What is grace? We all hear about it and know the greatest gift of grace was from our Lord as He sent His son to give us eternal life. Yet our fellow mankind speaks often of grace to others. Bible scholar, Donald Barnhouse cited grace as, “love that goes upward is worship; love that goes outward is affection; love that stoops down is grace.”

Chuck Swindoll describes grace this way, “Jesus never used the word grace. He just taught it and, equally important He lived it. Understanding what grace means requires…going back to an old Hebrew term…to include the idea of “condescending favor.”

Chuck continues by saying, “to show grace is to extend favor or kindness to one who doesn’t deserve it and can never earn it. Every time the thought of grace appears, there is the idea of its being undeserved. In no way is the recipient getting what he or she deserves. Favor is being extended simply out of the goodness of the heart of the giver.”

Have you received grace? Do you offer grace? Have you spoken an unkind word against another and yet refused to apologize or seek their forgiveness? Yet, when you saw them, they chose to greet you with a smile and perhaps a hug. That was grace.

Perhaps on the contrary you have reached out to someone that harmed you physically or emotionally.  Less than two years ago, I became aware of someone who brought me tremendous, emotional pain eight years ago, by taking someone from my life whom I loved deeply.

I realized the relationship she chose to begin was not solely her choice, yet I desired to offer grace. I attempted to talk to her, to let her know I didn’t blame her alone for the unfathomable agony I was experiencing. After attempting to speak with her in person and on the phone, she refused all opportunity for me to extend grace. Is this still grace if the recipient doesn’t accept it? TO BE CONTINUED

I Cor 15:10 NIV, “but by the grace of God, I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect…”

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