• Lauren Mitchell

The Grace We Are Given


“There’s not much hope for a person who won’t live in the grace he’s given.”

Jonathan Rogers

Have you ever been reading a book to your kids and a quote arrests your heart right there in the unexpected?

Homeschooling Caleb this year has afforded us lots of time to snuggle on the porch in the early morning and read. There are some great new books we’ve discovered that simply need time enough to become classics. As a woman who added literature as a second major in college, I have found myself sometimes snobbish about the books I choose to read. Really great novels seem to always point us in the right direction, and we see ourselves in their characters better than we see ourselves in real life. We gain vision and understanding and explore our own feelings through characters that we love.

The character who spoke this quote is a wise sage, based on the prophet Samuel. I had to write everything he said down in my journal so that I could pray over it later. I can’t get it out of my mind or my prayers.

When asked a question about what one deserves, the wise sage responds:

“A bird might think he deserves to swim as well as a fish, but if he sits moping on the riverbank instead of using the wings God gave him, the fox is going to eat him.”

“Your brother would rather have his own way than be happy. He’s thrown away the grace he was given because it’s not the grace he had in mind. There’s not much hope for a person who won’t live in the grace he’s given.”

I’m still saying it over to myself. There really isn’t much hope for a woman who won’t live in the grace she’s been given .How much have I missed because it wasn’t the grace I had in mind? How often would I rather have my own way than be happy?

I tend to dream big, I also tend to get the cart ahead of the horse. I love ideas, I love words, I love it when they come together. I’ve spoken so many words over my dreams, but how many of them are accurate to the dream God created me for? How many just take me down their own exciting road with the cart trampling right over top of the horses and crash-landing because it wasn’t the direction I was intended to go?

And then the question becomes, how many times could I have saved myself crushing disappointment if I had stayed still and waited for the grace I was given instead of the grace I was chasing?

There really isn’t much hope for a person who won’t live in the grace God has given, but there is abundant hope for the person who joyfully lives in the grace they’re given.

“But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” Ephesians 4:7

The measure used for us when God gave grace wasn’t our own merit. He doesn’t give the grace we deserve. He gives grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift, his own life, for us.

We must stay aware of what we’re chasing. When we choose the grace we think we want over what we are given, we are just like that bird wishing to be a fish. If we don’t choose wings of hope in the grace we are given, we lay ourselves out as bait for the wolf to come gobble us up. Given the opportunity, He will.

I want to plant my feet firmly in the grace God has given me today and weigh down that anchor for my soul. Each day I weigh down the anchor of my hope, my soul becomes steadier.

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