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Sarah Starrenburg

Embrace the Grace

Embrace the Grace


It was when I broke both my elbows that I got a crash course in accepting help.

For 6 weeks, I was blown away by what hands-on community looked and felt like. So many people brought me meals, audio books and dvds. Others came and did my laundry, straightened my hair and just went for walks with me. I was inundated with grace. It was humbling and beautiful.

But of course, it’s one thing to accept help when you’re in extraordinary circumstances; when you’re actually incapacitated. In normal life, though, we should be able to get by on our own.  We shouldn’t need help. We shouldn’t need grace. We should be able to get it together.

That’s what we tell ourselves.

But the truth is, we’ve all been knocked about. We’ve all been broken. We all known what it is to be hurting, and we’re all at various stages of the healing journey.

We live in a very individualistic, meritocratic, pull yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps kind of society. The mythic ideal of self-sufficiency runs deep in our psyche.

Grace seems antithetical – possibly something we can be pleasantly surprised by on the odd occassion. Certainly not something we should expect. And definitely not something we can count on.

We brush off the compliment; we feel uncomfortable with generosity directed our way. We think supernatural favour is something that happens to other people, and we can even feel guilty when it happens to us.

But any instinct to push back against grace, against unearned good directed our way, means we’re making it about us. And grace is not about us. It’s about our very good God, and the system of the kingdom in which we’ve graciously been invited to live; to thrive.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him…What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” – Rom 8:28, 31-32

God’s love for us demonstrates an approach of overflowing grace, and we know that the way he loves us is the model for how we are to love each other. Kingdom community should look like an abundance of grace bouncing all around – from God to us to others and back again.

Look to be gracious. Learn to accept it – to celebrate it even.

Embrace the grace.

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