Jesus, our Savior, is born! All praise and glory to God, our Heavenly Father, for giving us such a wondrous gift! Jesus, our Immanuel, God with us. He is grace embodied.
Grace given, Christ came and died for our salvation, giving His life for you and me. But it all started with the baby in the manger. Grace. The desperation of man without a Savior touched God’s heart so deeply that in His love, He gave so we might have hope.
Grace, simple acts of grace by others, can bring me to tears. Like when I am feeling overwhelmed, feeling like a trainwreck, nothing going right, and someone says a kind word. Tears fill my eyes.
Just the other day, I stopped for coffee in the middle of last minute Christmas errands. I had left my cash in the car, but my coin purse was bulging, so I counted out the coins needed from it. I felt like I was taking too much time and apologized. The barista said, “you’re fine, no worries.” Simple sweet words of grace. As I left with my coffee, she added ” you have a good rest of your day” and tears filled my eyes. I felt the kindness in her words deep within and they meant so much to me.
I am realizing how much my heart yearns for grace, for kind words, for understanding, for love undeserved. A kind word when dinner doesn’t turn out quite right, a smile accompanied by a sweet gesture, or just hearing the words, “you’re ok” when you feel so not ok because of an unintentional error. I need those gracious, understanding responses. They touch my heart deeply, and I often replay them in my mind and feel so blessed.
But, how often do I take the grace shown by my Lord for granted? How often do I live life lacking gratitude, not showing love as He has loved me, not taking time to be with Him, not having a heart of worship, not reading His word and meditating on His love? Too often.
How often do I allow God’s grace in Christ to really touch me in my day-to-day life? Jesus came for you and me. The Lord knew our desperate need and He gave. And He continues to give and give. He has given so much. I want to live more aware of His loving-presence in my life.
It’s 3:20 a.m. I woke up over hour ago remembering the worry I felt when I fell asleep. One of my bunnies was very sick. I had taken her to the vet, got her meds, but nothing was helping. I felt helpless and really wasn’t sure if she would live through the night. I put on my coat and boots, grabbed a flashlight, and went outside in the fog for a walk. Actually, for a cry, and a prayer. And, after I came in I could see a small positive change in her. And just now, when I woke up, I checked on her and she has eaten a little. She is doing so much better. Grace comes in answered prayer. And this answer made my heart so happy. I thanked and praised God aloud right there by my bunnies playpen. Another gift given from my Sovereign Lord.
I know, so many prayers seem to go unanswered, the loved one leaves, the sickness ends in death, sadness fills our world. And I lose heart, I forget, until, once again God reminds me of His grace, His mercy, and His love.
Today, Christmas Day, is a day filled with family visits, presents, and home-cooked meals. It is a day to celebrate grace. Many gifts are given by our Heavenly Father, but the One He gave for us is the gift that matters more than all. Jesus is the reason for the season.
I don’t want to miss recognizing His grace this Christmas day or any other day. And I want to learn to live my life sharing more of that grace with others. Not just with words telling about Jesus, but by the way I act, and the words I use. Today is a good day to celebrate grace and remember it was given to be shared.
*Photo from Unsplash taken by Kelly Sikkema