Grace came down at Christmas
While we all were fast asleep,
It didn’t blow loud trumpets
It just slipped in without a peep.
It caught us profusely dreaming
About worldly gifts we’d get,
The kind that captures fancies
But they leave us greatly in debt.
Though undeserving that we are
Grace lovingly smiles our way,
And waits for us in patience
To hear the truth it will say.
Struggling between the eternities
Grace came down before our call,
Mysterious and glorious in nature
Grace can save us from the Fall.
Grace is definitely something that we don’t deserve. When I wrong someone else, and I’m found out, grace is the one thing I desire most. But it’s also the one thing that I find hardest to extend to others when they have wronged me, especially if I feel I have been robbed of something important. We’re not told in scripture how many times we are expected to extend grace to others, as we have been told in regard to forgiving another. But I suppose it is the same number of times. Without grace, forgiveness cannot take place. Jesus wants us to be at one with each other, in fact, that was in his final prayer with his disciples (John 17). Jesus knew that grace would be our hardest struggle in life. None of us like being treated badly. It makes us feel inferior and does a number on our self-esteem. Our first thought, and often our first reaction, is to turn our backs on the person who wronged us. This is exactly what Satan hopes we will do. Divide and conquer is his evil plan. An eye for an eye seems a much easier way to go, but Jesus wants more for us. We struggle in all the small things that daily come our way. We don’t keep our word to someone, or we hurt them some other way because we didn’t take treating people with respect seriously. We find ourselves treating others lightly, as if they don’t count. Only we count at times. If only we could treat others as we would like to be treated things would sure go more smoothly. My suggestion is that first, when hurt, run to God, rather than reacting in an attempt to hurt back. Should a person hurt you in the same manner many times over, I don’t think God wants us to be door mats. Jesus, along with his grace, confronted the sinner, had mercy on them, forgave them, then sent them back out again with a command not to sin again. I find grace is much harder than forgiveness, because grace has to come first, and when our tempers are hot we need to cool off first before we can ever pull that unity command off and be more like God. Don’t hold on to resentment, it’s a killer. The next time you’ve been hurt, ask yourself if this a test from God, and if so, know that in scripture He has already taught us steps to take in order to pass the test. Or, ask yourself if this is another trap set for me from the devil. Stop and think, then you’ll know better how to react. I pray that grace will always come swiftly to you so that unity will follow. God is grace, so thank him daily for coming down to us at Christmas. Grace can save us from the Fall if we will allow.
Sheila Wells Hughes, December 25, 2010, # 593