Grace is amazing and it is also sort of like the fleece jacket I got for Christmas. This is a good thing.
I wish someone would have told me how comfortable a fleece jacket is years ago. Maybe someone did and I just didn’t listen; I can be ignorant like that sometimes. It’s possible that a family member brought this up while a football game was on or while I was trimming my toenails. Both of those activities require a great deal of concentration. My beloved Tennessee Volunteers needs all the good vibes that I can throw their way and my feet look bad enough without me slicing into them with toenail clippers. Why do I have toenail clippers sharp enough to do that kind of damage? You obviously have never seen the big toenail on my right foot. One day I’ll probably have to use a blow torch on it.
I wasn’t told about the comforting goodness of fleece jackets or I was told while deeply involved in an activity requiring extreme concentration. Either way, I missed out. This is not uncommon. I missed out on the Bart Simpson t-shirt craze while I was in the eighth grade. I missed out on reading the memo that jean shorts (or jorts) just aren’t cool unless you live in Florida. I missed out on knowing how Jar Jar Binks made The Phantom Menace virtually unwatchable before paying actual money to watch it. I missed out on being a trend-setter by not selling my idea for a bacon suit before Lady Gaga wore her meat dress. I am used to missing out.
Thankfully, I finally have felt the joy of wearing a fleece jacket. I have turned into a real-life version of Linus, except instead of a blanket I have a fleece jacket. And instead of having a friend with an awesome dog I have 3 dogs that would be awesome if, you know, they would stop eating my dirty dress socks. I have no idea why they eat my socks and why they only eat my dress socks. Stupid dogs.
There are plenty reasons why I like my fleece jacket, but there is one reason that soars high above the rest. My fleece jacket reminds me of God’s grace. Here’s how: it provides warmth yet is light enough to allow for freedom of movement. The other jackets that I have are big and bulky. They do a good job keeping me from becoming cold, but they are terribly constraining.
My fleece jacket isn’t like this and neither is grace. Grace provides warmth and help against the chilly darkness, but it does not impede your freedom. Grace holds you snugly while still allowing you to breathe. Not suffocating or constricting, grace still offers protection and comfort. If grace does not provide both warmth and freedom, then it is not really grace at all. It is a cheap imitation not even worthy of the name.
And I didn’t deserve a fleece jacket as a gift (or any other present, for that matter), but I will gladly enjoy it. The same is true for grace. It is a gift, offered to each of us from the nail scarred hand of Jesus. I can’t comprehend why he would offer it to us, but comprehension of why the gift was given is not a requirement for accepting or enjoying it.
The fleece jacket will one day wear out. I’m glad that God’s grace never will.
(What do you have that reminds you of grace? )