Perhaps it was a daydream. Maybe an overactive imagination. Whatever it was, it was triggered by a song.
Grace, grace, marvelous grace Coming down from the Father above.
Imagine a hand reaching down offering such marvelous grace. The hand is unbelievable dirty, it has splinters and blood and dusty tear tracks running down toward the fingertips. It is repulsive to look at.
However, as I looked up into His face I longed for that grace, would give anything for that grace.
I take His hand. Suddenly the hand is clean and strong except for the scar.
There was a cost for the grace – that’s what He was showing me.
I felt so loved as He drew me to Himself. I basked in the warmth of the grace that was offered to me.
“Extend My grace to others.”
“I will,” I said.
Then I saw a man who had done unspeakably evil things to those around him. He stole, he hurt others and he laughed at the desperation of others. To me, the evil made him look hideous and dirty. Filth covered him from head to toe. Others may have seen wealth and power. I saw a pitiful man grasping for more simply to add to his pile of dirt.
“Extend my grace to him.”
“But this man does not deserve grace. He treats others so badly. I can’t.”
“Extend my grace to him!”
“This man is beyond saving – he…”
“Look at me.”
I looked into those eyes and I began to weep. I saw my reflection in His eyes – every ugly, evil, dirty deed I had ever committed and the pile of dirt I surrounded myself with. Then I saw His hand holding mine. He held out a special mirror and as I looked, I saw the “me” that he saw and I realized that I was undeserving of the grace I had been given. He offered His grace to all who needed it, knowing that none deserved it – yet He offered and some, like me, accepted.
“How could I forget,” I said though my tears, “that I am but a sinner that has been rescued by Your grace?”
“Extend my grace to Him.”
I reached out my hand to the man I was loath to touch just moments before and when I did he changed before my eyes. I was allowed to see the man in the same way He saw him. And I wondered at the grace that could so completely change a man.
And the angels rejoiced.
“Every good gift (grace included) and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17).
Point of Encouragement: It is easy to see the evil in our world. It is much more difficult to allow God to show you people who need His grace. More difficult still is offering that grace to those we are sure do not deserve it. Only when we clearly catch a glimpse of who we were when we received God’s marvelous grace can we fully extend that grace to others. Do some grace-extending today.
By Glenn A. Hascall [email protected]