I am terrible at giving gifts. A real disaster. I get the cold sweats every time a birthday or Christmas rolls around. I never know what to get anyone, even the people I love the most. I often buy presents in bulk! For example on any given year all the kids in our extended family will get the same t-shirt that has the name of whatever South East Asian country we visited on vacation. Lame.
God on the other hand is amazing at giving gifts. I get a “Hey thanks!” and I deserve a “Seriously? What were you thinking?” God deserves an eternity of praise and what he gets instead are definitions!
We love to try to define grace. For example acronyms “God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense.” Comparisons, “Grace is receiving gift we didn’t deserve; mercy is not receiving the punishment we did deserve!” Or the classics, “unmerited favor.” I find the definitions too simple and too complex in the same breath. Grace just means gift. It implies that I didn’t deserve it, ask for it, or somehow earn it. It’s a gift. That simple. The moment I open my eyes to see what the “simple” definition might entail I am stunned by the sheer extravagance of God’s grace.
Take watermelon for an example. Yesterday, coming in after a run, I was beet-red, sweaty and exhausted. Spying half a watermelon in the fridge I cut a plateful and collapsed on the couch. Then I thought, out of all the fruits in the world, what inspired God to make something cool, sweet and wet ripe in the middle of the summer when we need it the most? What caused him to create dozens of kinds of fruits, ripe throughout the year, in a variety of colors and flavors and make them all GOOD for us? That’s astonishing.maidservantsofchrist.com. A blog written by 3 friends, Helene, Melissa and Jane. Helene lives abroad with her husband and two young daughters. A graduate from Harding University, she’s a college-level ESL teacher.