God’s Expansive Grace

Recently, some friends of ours invited us to visit with them a couple of days during their vacation on the coast about an hour-and-a-half from where we live. Of course, we jumped at the opportunity.

As I walked down to the beach from their apartment, I was struck yet again by the immensity of the sea. The horizon so far in the distance, the quantity of water, the variety of sea life—all of it just brings a sense of awe to me…and that to a boy who grew up in the Caribbean! The ocean always amazes me.

I step down to the water’s edge…the wash of a wave running up over my feet, sucking the sand from beneath. I’m left unsettled for a moment, a little off-balance. It is though the sea is beckoning to me, gently trying to pull me in. I step a little farther into the gentle surf…tentatively at first since the water is so cool compared to the glaring sun-heated world around me. I’m up to my knees…my waist…mid-belly…and I finally plunge in, diving through a small wave. Refreshing, cleansing sea-water envelops and washes me, stripping me of the grime of the city, the cares of the work-place. In the silence under the water, I am instantly transformed…I become a part of the sea…and I come to surface calmed, clean. This is what the ocean does for me.

As I sat on the beach later (sans cell-phone, sans computer), I did what I always do: I considered the sea, put my thoughts to it…and I could see that the ocean before me is so much like God’s grace. We cannot even begin to fathom the depth of His grace…can’t see the other side…can’t even imagine all the goes into and thrives in His grace.

In the beginning, we’re hesitant to enter that grace, declaring ourselves unworthy of God’s love (and we are!). But yet another small wave of His grace—in song, Scripture or kindness—curls around our feet, beckoning us…calling to us. We step forward…tentatively, unsure. The refreshing grace swirls around our legs…laps up on our belly…and we take a deep breath…and plunge into God’s amazing grace. His love washes over us, stripping away the grime of sin and self-doubt. In the silence beneath the waves, we know that we are changed…different…and we surface—our heart now clean, our soul calm, wrapped in that peace that passes all understanding.

This sea of grace is not an hour-and-a-half drive away. It is right where we are. God brings His ocean of grace to us. We need only close our eyes in prayer…wade in…and immerse ourselves anew in the great expanse of His grace—and we are renewed. This is what God’s grace does for me….

(Originally published 5-August-2011 on The Mission Society blog site: http://themissionsocietyblog.com/?p=628 )


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