The Specificity of Grace
By Rebecca Sieg
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV
Sadness is a tricky thing. It’s both unchanging in its monotony and surprising in its tenacity. It’s always right around the corner and it can easily make itself at home. And over time it can move further away, become less present. And then something happens to spark a memory and it floods back.
Mother’s Day is like that for me. I lost my mom in 2012 after a long battle with cancer. She was young and vibrant and then she was gone. Most certainly gone to the side of her Savior. But I was still here.
What does Mother’s day look like without a mother?
Grief has taught me many things. Through grief, I have learned what a faithful friend our Father is to us. Through grief, I have been awed by the goodness found in my spiritual family.
But perhaps most personally important, grief has taught me that God’s grace is absolutely sufficient in my need.
In his second letter to the Corinthians, among other things, Paul is urging the church at Corinth to not see Paul as ‘the’ guy but to see Christ in Paul. He is pointing the church at Corinth back to the Savior. Towards the end of the letter, Paul writes that he asked the Lord three times to remove a handicap from Him.
Each time the Lord answered, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV. Like Paul, I have some handicaps. After my mom passed, grief was a constant companion - always lurking beneath the surface.
Also like Paul, I prayed it would go away. And also again like Paul, it didn’t. But in the absence of my mother, grace was given to me. Grace, the goodness of God measured out for me.
Have you ever wondered about the word ‘sufficient’? Sufficient means enough. Not more than or less than - enough. The exact measurement of God’s undeserved attention and love to meet our weakness. Our hard times, our flaws, our empty spaces filled in with God’s strength - in a sufficient amount.
How wonderfully intentional is our Father? Who not only identifies our needs, but weighs out His goodness to us in the perfect amount. The specificity of His grace. It’s astounding.
For the young woman who longs for a child but finds her womb empty each month, His grace is exactly enough. To the older woman who longs to hear from her estranged children and does not, His grace is not absent. It’s portioned out, it’s enough.
To me, the child lost in grief on Mother’s day, His grace is purposed out, specified to meet my sadness. Even though Mother’s day is a hard day, I walk with a measured amount of grace. I walk in the intentionality of my Savior’s love.
And because of this grace, I never walk alone.
Father, Thank You so much for Your love - given abundantly, given freely. Thank You so much for Your grace - measured out, given specifically. Thank You so much for Your intentionality and plan - purposed from creation, perfect and pleasing. Continue to use us, continue to love us, and continue to hold us. As Your beloved, so we may love others, give us sufficient grace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
© 2017 by Rebecca Sieg. All rights reserved.
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Originally published Wednesday, 10 May 2017.