No one is as hard on me as I am—and I do realize that some of that—is the way I was raised.
My parents preached excellence to their kids.
I remember constantly hearing as I was growing up,”That everything I do, should be done with a spirit of excellence.”
Always my folks would tell us that they wanted “our very best” at all times.
Nothing wrong with teaching kids to strive for their best, but somewhere in my head (again) the word “best” got tweaked into the word “perfect” and that is impossible to pull off.
I still struggle with a healthy tension between excellence and perfection. (Don’t a lot of us?) It’s so easy to get sidetracked from doing my best, to striving for the unrealistic and unattainable perfectly-perfect.
(And, as we all know, the reach for perfection is a deadly-confidence-killer!)
Perfect just ain’t gonna happen no matter how hard we try. (Not in this life!) That’s why this simple little word “grace” is such a life-changing concept for someone like me; the guy who is so tempted to go for all-of-the-gusto, all of the time.
Giving grace to others, encouraging them to hang in there and not quit… that comes to moi, like rolling off a log. But, I have to admit, my “flaw-finder” is superb when I am looking at myself; at what I am planning, doing, creating… etc., etc., etc. No matter how sweet the complement, or how genuine the praise, that insidious little flaw-finder in my head, will kick in and go straight for (and magnify) the-only-thing… I should have done better.
Enter… GRACE. Ta-Da!
The ONE SIMPLE THING that will save me every time: His grace… His sweet grace… His loving grace… forgiving grace… cheering-for-me grace… the ALWAYS THERE, new every sunrise, air-that-I-breathe, manna in the morning …grace.
How serenely simple is the grace of God! Even a child can comprehend their need. (And oh darlin’ I do desperately need Him.) Each day. In every way, have-to-have-Him, and His grace. I want to roll in it, like a little kid rolls in mud, getting the gooey, lovely stuff, all over me!
A man I deeply respect once said, “Simplicity is a clear window.”
A lot of light bulbs went on in me when I heard those words.
That’s what grace is. Simple. So simple it’s easy for all of us to miss it. So, let’s not.
Instead, let’s all abide in gratitude today, whatta ya say?
Let’s wallow in the always enough of Jesus Christ’s sweet loving grace.
Let’s splash around in the stuff splattering it on others. And to be sure… let’s save a few heaping handfuls for ourselves!
May we come up from that “Wilderness of Perfection” LEANING on GRACE for each stumbling-step—trusting that we are kept as His Beloved in spite of all our many failures.
Ah, the simplicity of grace.
What a lovely clear window you are!
AS MUCH AS YOU NEED
Whether My grace falls in dew, or in showers, it will always be enough.
That is all you really need to know. Not, “Will it be good? Will it be bad?” No, no, these things matter not. They lead to a tenseness in your spirit, and anxiety, and worry.
(Am I there?)
Of course not!
My sweet child, all you have to do each day, is walk in the path prepared for you. I AM leading; I go before you.
For My children in days gone by I provided manna.
For you, it is grace, and like the manna of old it will be there for you each morning.
(Always there, for I AM there, too.)
Where I abide, grace abounds!
Did you get that?
As you obey, forgive, love… I abide. My grace flows freely from wherever My Spirit abides.
As you walk in the fruit of My Spirit grace flows freely from your life.
There is always enough for you and others!
It is the way to express constant power and strength.
(Now you see?)
But… I warn you. As in the manna of old, you may not store this grace from what you did yesterday, last week, or last month.
My mercies are new every morning.
Besides, you’ve experienced stale grace.
Not for you dearest… not for you. I want you to receive fresh new mercies, like morning dew, or summer rain.
Each day—as much as you need!
“…and your strength shall be renewed day by day like morning dew.” Psalm 110:3