I think we undervalue grace. We pursue justice relentlessly, wanting people to get what they deserve-- for good or bad.
But is that all there is? (The correct answer is no, there's not.)
Think about it. Consider a time when you didn't get what you deserved, and it benefitted you.
I can think of a time when I messed up a shipping order at work, failing to put in the order on time to get a part shipped out to arrive at the time it needed to arrive. The normal consequence of that issue would be having to reschedule the visit, paying for the "failed attempt" for cancelling with the technician, and having to call the store (all embarrassed and apologetic about the error).
Long story short, our shipping department and project manager came through. The shipping department worked above and beyond to get the shipment out anyway, contacting the carrier repeatedly to work out the changes. And the project manager worked with the technicians to switch a couple other things around to make it work out after all. Their work and willingness to work with my mistake saved me a headache and having to deal with the extra charges we normally would've incurred.
I was so thankful! I didn't expect it from them, and they pulled through for me anyway, and I didn't have to deal with the consequences I normally would have.
That's just a small example of grace.
How about the fact that we've been forgiven by the perfect God who created us, sees us at our worst, and loves us anyway? How about the fact that He has given us the gift of His Son's sacrificed perfect life so we don't have to earn our salvation ourselves?
That's grace, my friends.
GRACE UPON GRACE
Not only are we saved by grace, but we're given so much more grace than that! It's not a one-and-done deal.
It's grace upon grace upon grace upon grace.
Everyday, we're given more grace. We're given grace for our mistakes, our shortcomings, our setbacks, our failures. We're given grace for our perfectionism, pride, anxiety, and fear.
All this grace is ours if only we'll just acknowledge it and rest in it. It's all there for the taking. May we see it, accept it, and cherish it.