What I learned from Grace

Grace 1

­This past summer on a lazy Sunday afternoon, I paid a visit to one of my neighbors.  One of their children is a five-year old.  Grace is a beautiful, very sprite, fun, cheerful little girl with iridescent strawberry blonde hair, bright eyes, and a raspy, yet cute voice.

On this particular afternoon as I finished speaking with her parents, Grace grabbed my free hand and led me around the house showing me her belongings with the enthusiasm typical for her age.  She provided a running commentary as we meandered along.  She led me outside and asked if I would watch her jump on the trampoline.  I obliged and took a seat on a nearby chair.

Pikes Peak in the distance framed this jumping child.  The beauty of this juxtaposition was remarkable, yet I kept my focus on Grace.  I had other things to do in my hustle and bustle adult world, but I lingered, transfixed on this beautiful life form.  I savored the moment – possibly for the first time in my life.  She was truly a gift from God.  Grace bounced and chattered.  I watched with a deep sense of calmness and satisfaction – something I hadn’t experienced for quite some time.  Life was good. 

A day or so later I reflected on that pleasant encounter.  I replayed what had transpired and landed on a question: “Why is Grace so happy?”  I thought about it and came to this conclusion.  First, Grace is surrounded by people who love her for who she is (and not what she does or doesn’t do).  Her family and friends adore her, support her, and guide her.  Second, Grace doesn’t have a care in the world – none, zero, zilch.  She doesn’t worry about her next meal, or paying the bills, or the balance of her retirement account.  Granted, this will change in time, but it is an unfortunate consequence of maturation in our society.  For now, as a five-year old, Grace hasn’t a care, nor should she.

This same state of happiness is available to all of us, whether five years old, fifty, or a hundred.  We all have the two necessary elements, if we are willing to embrace them.  First God’s love is available to all of us.  He surrounds us with love, even if we don’t have a biological or adopted family here on earth.  God gave His one and only Son to demonstrate His love for us.  His grace is poured out on us all.

May the Lord bless and protect you; may the Lord’s face radiate with joy because of you; may he be gracious to you, show you his favor, and give you his peace.  Numbers 6:24-26 (Living Bible)

Secondly, we need to unload our cares and burdens.  A five-year old has very few cares.  We aren’t born with the burdens of life, but rather we collect them as we progress through the realities of our crazy world.  We learn to embrace the cares as we experience the journey of life for good or bad.   We need to be more like Grace.  To enjoy the moment, enjoy what we can do and who we are – to share that joy with others – to not even worry about the next day.  We do not have to carry a heavy burden when we are in Christ.  He promises to provide for us.  He knows our every need.

Look at the lilies! They don’t toil and spin, and yet Solomon in all his glory was not robed as well as they are.  And if God provides clothing for the flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, don’t you suppose that he will provide clothing for you, you doubters? And don’t worry about food—what to eat and drink; don’t worry at all that God will provide it for you. All mankind scratches for its daily bread, but your heavenly Father knows your needs.  He will always give you all you need from day to day if you will make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.    Luke 12:27-31 (Living Bible)

We need to be more like Grace – to have a child-like faith and attitude.  We need to enjoy the life that God has given each of us – to live in the moment and savor it.  We need to cast our cares away, for God does care for us.  Forgive those who have offended us.  Let go of the past.   We need to look to the future with hope and optimism, for our future is assured in Christ.  His gift of grace is immeasurable, abundant, and overflowing.  He provides for us.  He knows our every need.  God sent His Son to restore our relationship with Him.  With such a high price paid, of course God will fulfill the promise.  Grace is what all we need.

What can you do today to receive the love available and live more carefree?

About John Forrest