Tuesday, July 9, 2013

All Is Grace

Ann Voskamp's well-known phrase. "All is grace."

God is teaching me what that means one bit at a time. I'm sure it's a lifelong lesson. I'm sure only those who've flown to Jesus understand it fully.

The first bit I learned is that there is grace when I fail. At the end of the day, I can sleep in peace knowing that I am accepted, no matter how badly I screwed up the day, because when God looks at me, he sees Christ. I am in Christ, my Redeemer.

It was so handy to have grace for every fail. But for each win, I rejoiced in myself. I did the dishes! Yay me! I swept the floor! Yay me! I read my Bible today! Yay me! I answered the phone! Yay me!

Each day had bits of grace and bits of yay me. For the win, I felt self-satisfied. Sometimes I even remembered to thank God. "Thanks, God, for helping. You rock."

For the fail, I told myself, "It's okay that you failed this time. You can try again tomorrow. There is grace for you." Grace for the fail.

But last week, something strange happened...

A perfect day.

I had my devotions, got all my chores done early, mopped all the floors, played games with the boys for several hours, mowed the lawn, made dinner on time, hung out with the fam in the evening, knitted, listened to Jeff share about his day, and went to bed on time.

At the end of the day, I thought about what had been accomplished and who I'd invested in, and I was astounded. Usually I do a few good things. (Yay me.) But that day, I did so many good things that there was just no room for yay me. I knew it wasn't me. I knew it was Christ. I knew it was grace. Grace for the win.

I learned a lesson through that self-defined successful day that I would not have learned through a self-defined unsuccessful day. I needed a smashing success far beyond my capability to understand grace for success.

"The time for self-trust has ended, and now all your trust has to be in Christ and his perfections alone.... Jesus has done it all." ~Elyse Fitzpatrick, Comforts from Romans, p.48-49

Jesus covers the fail. Jesus covers the win. All is grace.

(My favorite part was the next day. I got absolutely nothing done and read novels the livelong day. That day was grace, too.)