“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
While she was alive, my mom never missed the chance to remind me that I have “hard feet”. Not soft and lovely with long pretty toes but hard and dry and easily calloused. She said it’s because of my heritage. Now, I’m not sure which one she meant since I have Scottish, Irish, French, French Canadian and American Indian in my background but, apparently, it’s one of those. In fact, whenever I get a pedicure, I always apologize for my overly dry feet and toes!
It bothers me because who doesn’t want soft, beautiful feet? Not dry, hard and rough, like mine. Oh to have those long, pretty toes, perfectly manicured. Cuticles trimmed and no cracks or peeling heels.
Because they are hard and not pretty I’ve never really liked my feet. I see dry skin and my pitiful toes and feel utter disdain for my feet.
But on the bright side, I can walk barefoot and not worry too much. My feet can handle the grass and the gravel, the pavement, sand and mud. I have what I have and, other than what a good pumice stone can do, I can’t change my feet. I can walk just about anywhere and not worry too much about it which, come to think of it, might be a good thing after all!
Now if only I can learn to walk in His footsteps, wherever He calls me, and learn to walk in His love and His grace.
Because today’s grace is the only grace we have. I can’t live on yesterday’s or grab tomorrow’s.
Each morning is pregnant with grace, ripe with the possibility of catching a glimpse of Him in anything from a leisurely breakfast to a toddler’s tantrum, a great parking spot or a friend’s tears, the smallest details or the huge, life-changing challenges.
Because, it’s the challenges, the daily grind and the trials that work together to form us into the image of God. Those small things, those daily details, particularly the ones that annoy us, are working together to remind us how much we need Him…
…every. single. day.
Yet, the manna of His grace shows up every morning–fresh and clean and white and tastes just like honey. The only thing is, it’s just enough for today. If you try to gather more than you need you’ll find, like the Israelites did in Exodus 16, that it’s rotted and filled with worms.
We only get enough grace for today. We can’t store it up till tomorrow and we can’t depend on yesterday’s. Today’s grace is the only grace we have. Worm-free, fresh. And if I’m not careful, well, I’ll miss today’s grace.
Each day I have choices to make about the grace in my life.
- I can manufacture grace or manifest it into a life of love.
- I can ignore grace or invite it to indwell my heart.
- I can deny grace or deliver it to others every day.
- I can try to understand grace or undertake to know the one who gives it with an open and generous hand.
Everyday, Jesus is teaching me to abide in grace, reminding me His yoke is easy, His burden light. My burdens weigh me down, stifle the life, crush dreams, and fill my heavy heart with guilt.
But He whispers in my heart that He adores me. Everything about me. The good, the bad and the ugly and believe me, there’s plenty of ugly. His death on the cross wasn’t for the perfect ‘me’. It was for the sin-soaked me. The rebellious me. The imperfect me where sin dwells in spite of my best efforts. The me with the hard, calloused feet.
My imperfect life is where His grace is released and begins it’s perfect work. Slowly, daily, fashioning my heart into the woman of God He created me to be. He takes me as I am and shows me a little more of who He is each day.
He’s not what I thought He was at the beginning. He’s most definitely not the Christian art print Jesus, all smiles and meek carrying a lamb on His shoulders, tan and blowdried, with perfect teeth and bright blue eyes. A matinee-idol Jesus. No, He’s definitely not that.
He’s strange and strong; resolute and remarkable; odd and off-putting; and far, far ahead of me with His face set like flint. I do my utmost to follow His fading footprints, wherever they lead. Some days I run, mostly I walk and many days my victory is in simply standing.
Because sin keeps reminding me that it dwells in me. But grace shouts: Jesus loves every bit of every atom that He created. I can only put one hard foot ahead of the other, take one day at a time, pick up my cross and be willing to die today. And what’s true for me is true for you.
Friend, the truth is, He loves every bit of you. He loves the frustrations and the failures, the tragedies and triumphs of your life. The sweat and the struggle. The hurt and the hollow, all the empty parts. The imperfect and the ugly. Because you’re fearfully and wonderfully made by Him. In fact…….
…..You’re worth dying for.
You didn’t earn His grace and it will never, ever make sense. It’s grace and I can’t even scratch the surface of all it means. But that’s okay. I don’t need to fully understand it; I just need to receive it and walk it out today.