Originally published Sunday, 01 January 2017.
I sat in the car, head down and thoughts heavy.
I can't get things straight with this person. I seem to bother them. I seem to aggravate them. I seem to be a burden on their life.
She who feels condemns - condemns.
Have I been condemning?
The thought pressed closer to my chest, piercing my heart. Does their lack of approval regarding me, act like a boomerang, and move right back on them?
They seem irritated, so I get irritated because they are irritated and we stand at an impasse. They snap at me, later, I fear they'll do it again, so I use a harsh voice. They don't listen. I come down hard and demand to be heard.
Anger at myself settles. Once again, I'm the problem. I hate that feeling and its abysmal return.
She who is beating herself up can't heal another one up.
More anger at myself settles in.
She who is not freed by grace can't free others by grace.
More anger at myself settles in, except with it also comes the thought that if I really want progress, I really need to accept grace. Not just accept it in a way where I wear it on the outside, but instead, wear it, internally, like a stint that keeps the oxygen of my life flowing. One that keeps my heart beating and moving in ways that are transformational and life-giving to be both me and others.
Therefore let us [with privilege] approach the throne of grace [that is, the throne of God’s gracious favor] with confidence and without fear, so that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find [His amazing] grace to help in time of need [an appropriate blessing, coming just at the right moment]. (Heb. 4:16 AMP)
I am welcome to walk right up to God's grace; I can approach the throne of grace with all confidence and no fear. When I walk up to it, I need not think, I will be turned away, but I may just know mercy will be mine. It will be mine for every failure and it will work for me in my time of need. It will be an "appropriate blessing, coming at just the right moment." I like this.
With this, I may approach this person differently.
Grace lets me move forward with imperfections and with room for my mistakes, faults and failures in Christ Jesus.
God's love removes my need for a defensive spirit.
God's mercy covers my guilt with new life.
God's forgiveness is not something I should feel shame for receiving.
I am being developed into this likeness of Jesus and this takes time.
What might grace, seized with confidence and no fear,
look like in your life?
What form might God's - "appropriate" and timely blessings -
take as you make space for them?
My heart is called today to be a grace-getter. Do you know what a grace-getter looks like?
It looks like a person who shoves fear down a ditch, then runs up to the foot of the cross. She waves her arms and says, "Hey God, over here. My ways aren't working so well, God. I need you to relieve me of my pain."
She who gets grace - gives grace.
She knows, in her time of need, God has things covered and the blood of Jesus is just enough.
Order Kelly Balarie's new book, Fear Fighting: Awakening Courage to Overcome Your Fears.