Friday, March 18, 2011


I am changing a diaper when I realize yet again how amazing God’s grace is.

God, in all his holiness and all his goodness, knew we could never meet his standards on our own. And rather than punish and condemn us, he helped us. He bridged the gap between us and himself. We are like little children, and he is the compassionate father who sees that we simply cannot do it on our own and reaches down to help us. We are the toddlers who cannot use the toilet, and he is the parent who gently cleans us and patiently teaches us a better way, helping us move toward the goal.

Because of the grace he gives me, the grace I have done nothing to earn, I am compelled to pass that same grace on to others. Scripture tells the story of the man whose enormous debt was forgiven, yet he went out and demanded smaller debts from other people. This is not the person I want to be. I have been forgiven for so much. I have been given so much grace. How can I possibly have the audacity to be unforgiving and not extend grace to others?

And while God’s grace does not punish us for being unable to meet his standards, neither does it nullify those standards. God is not a punitive God, nor is he permissive. As a parent, this speaks to me. If this is how God has chosen to treat me, his child, I want to do everything in my power to treat my children the same way. In doing so, I hopefully will show them a glimpse of what God is like-- his love for them, the grace he gives them. As someone who has been forgiven and redeemed, I hope God is reflected in all my relationships, including those with my children.

And yes, I fail at this regularly. But even in my failures, God has grace and forgiveness for me. As I walk with my children, meeting them where they are, he walks with me. And unlike me, he never fails. And I am so grateful. His love is amazing, indescribable, beautiful.

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