Saturday, March 17, 2012

To Each Is Given Grace

I once asked a man I was interviewing how he overcame discouragement. He responded that he never had been discouraged. I reworded the question because surely he didn’t understand what I asked, but again he responded with the same answer. Later, I informed him I wasn’t going hire him for the position, and that seemed to discourage him. If we are truthful, we all get discouraged.

Have you noticed that our world knows how to set us up for disappointment? It is as if it is constantly telling us “Buy me!” “Choose me!” “Drive me!” or “Wear Me!” We are promised that if we do, we will be healthier, richer, wiser and, of course, more popular. How many have been disappointed with the product? Anybody who has taken the bait.

There is the temptation to compare ourselves with someone else. “If I just looked like that person,” “If I just had her talent,” or “If I just had his money,” are common lures that snag us. Anytime we envy others, we are despising what God has given us.

John Bunyan, who spent a good part of life in prison for preaching the Gospel, never lost track of what he still had. With eloquence Bunyan referred to the words of the Apostle Paul (Eph. 4:7) “to everyone of us” as being our greatest possession. God has given to us all his grace. No matter how often you have failed or how far off the path you have wandered, God still extends his grace to you. If Jesus prayed from the cross for those who crucified him, what does he say to you? He says look at me and I will show you what you have been given. Maybe you could use a new perspective of your life. Looking at Jesus’ death on the cross will show that he has given to everyone of us his grace and love.

Many years ago when my son Eric was very small, he was standing at my side in a very large hardware store in Argentina. I had taken a number and was waiting my turn, and judging from the line, it would be a good wait. In every direction you looked, there was something to gaze at while we waited; there were tools of all kinds and the latest building materials. My eyes went from one thing to the next as I surveyed the immense store. While I was eying the merchandise, my little son tugged on my hand and inquisitively inquired, “Dad, what does it look like from up there?” Before I picked him up, I decided to bend down on my knees beside him and see the store from his perspective. I have to admit that the view from above was considerably different than his view. Mostly, I saw people’s shoes, legs, knees and the bottom half of a lot of things. It was an incomplete picture. Then I reached down, picked up my son, and sat him on the counter where he had a complete view at my eye level.  He commented, “Things really look different from up here, Daddy.”

My prayer for you today is to allow God to pick you up and let you see your world from his perspective. What is missing won't matter when you see life from God's view.

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