Discovering Grace

My first lesson about grace didn’t happen in church.

At seven I opened the door of my heart to Jesus. I knew I sinned, I knew He died and rose again for me, but somehow I missed grace.

I grew-up thinking the Christian faith logical. Anyone smart enough to look would discover God is God and the Bible is true. I failed to see my faith as a gift, but rather I was smarter than those who didn’t believe.

I first began to awake to the idea of grace while working in the surgical-trauma and neuro-surgical ICU’s in Dallas. One day I took care of a kid whose life was forever changed by a drunk driver. A young-man headed to the professional golf circuit only to have his legs shattered in a motor-vehicle collision.

A few days later, I had to care for the drunk driver. My sense of justice was heightened. This man’s choices affected the life of a young man a few rooms down. His injuries were minimal. A part of me wanted to be judge and jury in that ICU ward. Then I heard a fellow nurse say, “We are all only one or two bad choices away from being in his place.”

My mind spun. “ME?! I have never been drunk a day in my life and I would never do anything like this,” I thought to myself. But the thought nagged at me. “Am I really capable of making such bad choices?”

Finally I began to see the truth. I am capable of making terrible decisions. In fact it is only by God’s grace that my poor choices have not lead to life altering consequences.

It was pride that kept me in the dark about grace. My pride created wounds in myself and wounded those around me. My self-righteousness made it easier for those around me to walk away from God rather than towards Him.

Grace is freeing. It means I don’t have to pretend to be perfect. I can admit to mistakes. It also frees me to forgive others. This extravagant grace drives me deeper into the arms of my Heavenly Father. Oh that I would never forget God’s grace and I would daily draw nearer to Him.

When did you discover grace?