Grace is Love
Yesterday, I woke with this “proof” in my head:
God is love.
Grace is the Holy Spirit, who is constantly working in and around us.
The Holy Spirit is God.
Thus, grace is love.
Living in the truth of this theorem had amazing impacts on my day. It was an incredibly grace-filled day. I more deeply understood that choosing sin was a failure to return God’s love. Thus, when things like binge eating the cookies on the counter became a strong desire, the idea of loving God by choosing against gluttony made it easier to avoid over eating.
While what I just said was true, it does not provide the proper depth to what I am trying to say because as a sinner, it is impossible for me to save myself from sin. Only God can deliver me. So, when I say that I did not over eat, I mean that I embraced grace, and grace, which is God, delivered me. How amazing is that?
God created us to live in this type of relationship with him; a relationship where every aspect of our life is doing our best to let go and let God. It is a relationship of living in a loving relationship with God, who is a father who provides for his children. A part of this providing for is learning to live a grace-filled life.
You see, in the beginning, he provided Adam and Eve with everything. With the arrival of sin, humans started providing for themselves because in eating the apple, they choose to be their own god. They became the arbiter of what is good and what is evil. They became reliant on their own works.
One aspect of salvation in Jesus is the return of God as provider. Matthew’s Gospel very clearly indicates that a part of Jesus’ message was a return to such reliance. We see this in many verses, including, “consider the lilies” and “even the sparrows.” Mt 6:26-28.
So being Christian means allowing God to do things for us. This is living in a grace-filled life. This is hard to hear because it is our tendency to want some level of control in our lives. God does not always care for us the way we wish he would, and this causes us to feel like maybe he is not trustworthy. Of course, we cannot always admit this to ourselves, but our behaviors are signals that maybe it is more true than we want to believe.
Once we start to believe that everything that happens, even a pandemic, is not outside of God’s control. He may not have caused it, but he will use it to our advantage. By advantage, I mean he will bring us closer to him. All we have to do is trust that nothing happens without a reason. When we trust him this way, we have a greater sense of peace. In this peace, we see the fruits of living in Christ.
Spend some time today with the Holy Spirit. Ask him to show you more clearly what it means to live in his grace. Ask him to show you how to deepen your sense of trust in him, and how you can let go of your attempts to control your life. He is there, and he wants to draw you into a deeper loving relationship with him. He wants to provide all that you need. At the same time, he may be asking you to let him provide for someone else through you. Ask him if there is anything you can do to be him for others in your life today. There are many without incomes or minimal incomes as a result of this pandemic. Don’t be afraid to trust him to take care of your future needs if he needs you to be his help to someone else today. As you finish your time of prayer, spend some time thanking him for all the great things he has done for you, and ask him to continue to show you how to live in a reality where grace is love.
Ms. Debra D. Weldon, O.P.