Have you ever had something happen to you that you just couldn’t stop thanking God for? I can’t stop thanking Him for the blessing I received this morning. Moreover, I can’t stop thanking Him because I know I didn’t deserve it. But here is the wonderful thing about God… He graces us even when we don’t deserve it.
That’s what baptism into the life of Jesus means. When we are lowered into the water, it is like the burial of Jesus; when we are raised up out of the water, it is like the resurrection of Jesus. Each of us is raised into a light-filled world by our Father so that we can see where we’re going in our new grace-sovereign country.
I got to work this morning and realized I had not seen anything in my email about a “remaining balance” regarding my summer tuition bill with KSU. I logged in and saw that nothing had been posted to my account yet. So, I called KSU and to my astonishment was told I had capped in what I could receive for Hope Scholarship. Today is June 8th, in order to be able to stay in school this semester, I had to find a way to pay $1,916 within 24 hours or my classes would be cancelled. I lost it. I am 7 weeks away from graduating college and now there was a chance I might not be able to. Devastating. I made some phone calls wondering if I had some other scholarship offers or federal aid, but nothing. There was nothing I could do. I really thought my world had just ended – 8 years of working towards my degree and seven weeks away from my graduation date and now it might not happen.
After a few moments of bawling my eyes out, the biggest shock of my life happened. My parents told me they would loan me the money. The shock came from my astonishment. My parents are very big on learning, making it on your own, that’s how you learn sort of thing. It’s exactly why I am the way I am today – and looking back I didn’t always like that mentality but today I appreciate that mentality. I’m glad they didn’t bail me out of a lot of situations I have been through (like my $20,000 of credit card debt!) This morning, I was completely humbled. In a moment when I least expected (and probably least deserved it), my parents selflessly gave me the amount I needed to maintain my classes this semester. When you work with people you are related to many times you have one type of relationship “inside” the job and another “outside” the job. Business is business – personal is personal. My family and I are no different. I get mad, they get mad, we all get frustrated, but we all have good days of laughter and stress as well. On the personal side to know that my parents were that gracious was humbling because I have plenty of moments where I have felt like a horrible daughter. I blur the lines of personal and business a lot. But even though I am not perfect, they still helped their daughter. They didn’t have any strings attached or obligations to have to do what they did — they did it out of love and out of our relationship.
What God does for us is no different. God loves us regardless of how many times we screw up – or how many times we stumble and scrape our knees. God brings a band-aid, places it on, and picks us up, tells us to be more careful, kisses us on the forehead and off we go. But no one really thinks about it like that… They take for granted what He does for us – just like I did with my parents. I’m wrong for that. My parents and God both gave me grace undeserved to me.
Don’t be lured away from him by the latest speculations about him. The grace of Christ is the only good ground for life. Products named after Christ don’t seem to do much for those who buy them.
I’m speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you. Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it’s important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him.
2 Corinthians 4:16
So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.
I’m grateful for what has been given to me. By HIS grace – I am blessed. By HIS suffering – I am saved. By HIS light – I can see.